by William Crum

The city of Oklahoma City plans to take bids April 25 for construction of MAPS 3 convention center.

The construction budget is $194 million.

Architects are presenting final plans for the nearly $300 million convention center to advisory boards this week.

The convention center subcommittee unanimously approved the final designs on Tuesday.

The city council is expected to give final approval to the designs next week, then the city will advertise for bids.

Construction could begin as soon as June and is expected to take two years.

The convention center design includes: 

  • 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, bigger than three football fields.
  • 45,000 square feet of meeting-room space.
  • 30,000-square-foot ballroom, with a 6,000-square-foot terrace.

A headquarters hotel being developed across SW 4 Street from the convention center is to include additional meeting rooms.

A skyway will link the convention center and a new parking garage to be built adjacent to the hotel.

The convention center is being built at 500 S Robinson Ave., across Robinson from the MAPS 3 downtown park. 

Alternates - extras to be added if bids are favorable - are included in the design. They include surface parking ($3.5 million), a skyway between the convention center and hotel ($2 million) and a SW 4 Street plaza between the convention center and hotel ($1.2 million).

Architects have drawings of how the convention center's lighting effects will enhance the building at night, in Thunder colors.