The MAPS 3 Convention Center was ceremonially “topped out” on Thursday, August 1st, an important milestone on the way to its scheduled opening in late 2020.
“Topping out,” traditionally traced to Scandinavia, is a ceremony in tribute to the natural resources used to construct a building. A tree or branch is placed on the highest beam in the frame, often with flags or streamers. For the MAPS 3 Convention Center, crews used a tree with an American flag.
“Now that the frame is complete, we’re excited to move into the next phase of construction with the inside of the convention center,” said Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mike Carrier.
The convention center is across the street on one side from MAPS 3’s Scissortail Park, and on another side from the Omni hotel. The park’s upper section opens in September, and the hotel is scheduled to open along with the convention center. It’s all served by MAPS 3’s OKC Streetcar.
MAPS 3 Convention Center construction as of July 31
More about the convention center
The MAPS 3 Convention Center’s total project budget of $288 million, including land acquisition and other related expenses, is the biggest in City history for a single project. The construction contract is $168.2 million, $20 million under budget.
The state-of-the art building is east of Scissortail Park along Robinson Boulevard between SW 4th and SW 7th streets.
The convention center’s sleek and modern design features sweeping downtown views, and materials designed for energy efficiency and resiliency against the weather.
The 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall will dominate the ground floor, featuring three operable walls to divide it in up to four flexible spaces. About 45,000 square feet of meeting spaces are on all levels of the building, and many also have operable walls to make the spaces flexible. The rooms can be configured to provide up to 27 individual meeting spaces.
A 30,000-square-foot ballroom is the main space on the fourth level, complemented by 10,000 square feet of pre-function space and a 4,000-square-foot balcony.
Informal meeting spaces, a kitchen, a potential café space, an expansive loading dock and administrative offices are also planned for the convention center.
The gleaming, angular façade has towering glass walls to make maximum use of natural light and takes its design cues from Oklahoma City’s sky, landscape and architectural character.
Landscaping outside the convention center will use native plants and trees well-suited to the local climate, with a focus on sustainability, comfort and beauty. A central plaza and other inviting spaces will help the convention center’s exterior come alive with activity.
Wayfinding stations inside and outside the convention center will be interactive.
Visit their website at https://www.visitokc.com.