2019 September POINT!

violence programs, an innovation district, the animal shelter and beautification. It would also pay for a new multipurpose stadium and improvements to the Chesapeake Energy Arena and a new OKC Fairgrounds Coliseum. Williams said he was especially pleased that the Innovation District projects were included. The Chamber and several partners requested funding to implement impactful parts of a land use and strategic development study for the area, which will be used to construct Innovation Hall and expand the 10th Street Bridge over Interstate 235, as well as renovate the Henrietta B. Foster Center and update Booker T. Washington Park. The request also included an appropriations fund for programming at the Foster Center and Innovation Hall. He said the improvements made at the Innovation District will be a boon for Ward 7, but also help create a place that’s attractive to new companies wanting to do life-changing work. Williams said cities like Boston

and St. Louis are already reaping the benefits of having a planned, programmed innovation district, so it’s time for Oklahoma City to improve upon the assets we have to strengthen its standing as a research destination. “This is a project with the most potential for bringing money into our community from outside,” Williams said. “It’s an area that’s going to generate jobs and it’s important for economic diversification.” Williams said when the MAPS 4 projects are completed, people will look back at this vote in December and see it as another turning point in Oklahoma City’s history. “This package will make life better for every resident,” he said. “And when we help our residents, that sends a beautiful message to the rest of the country – well, even the world – that Oklahoma City is a place where you won’t feel left behind.”



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