Sixteen million dollars later and the renovation of the headquarters of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is ready to be seen by the public.
Damage from flooding in 2013, the building had been closed while repairs and renovations were underway. But the public grand opening has been set for Monday, Jan. 14 from 3 to 5 p.m. at 1801 N. Lincoln Boulevard.
“We here at the Wildlife Department hope that every sportsman and sportswoman of the state will take great pride in this new facility, because it really belongs to them,” said Melinda Sturgess-Streich, Assistant Director of Administration and Finance.
The building’s public areas showcase Oklahoma’s fish, wildlife and natural resources. Exhibits provide opportunities for conservation education as well as inspiration for Oklahoma’s next generation of hunters and anglers.
Incoming Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and several members of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission are planning to attend. Wildlife Department Director J.D. Strong will commemorate the grand opening with special remarks.
Guests will be able to get a firsthand look around the building and visit with some Wildlife Department employees.
The building renovation was prompted by flood damage in 2013. The project was funded completely by proceeds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, not by taxpayers.
Oklahoma contractors greatly benefited from the $16 million project, Streich said. Beck Design of Oklahoma City was the project architect, and CMS Willowbrook of Oklahoma City was the construction manager. All but one of the 38 subcontractors that worked on the renovation are Oklahoma businesses.
The building originally opened in 1966 and served the Wildlife Department without any notable renovation for almost 50 years.