The Rebirth of a City Park Helps a Community Recover

Four years ago, an EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, tragically killing 24 people and destroying nearly everything in its path. Since that time, many community partners have come together to rebuild the city, proving that triumph truly can arise from tragedy.

“May 20, 2013, is a date that everybody remembers,” said Moore assistant city manager Todd Jensen. “It was devastating to the community.”

Jensen says the recovery process hasn’t been easy, but thanks to the help of countless volunteers and organizations, the city has been rebuilt one step at a time.

The restoration of Little River Park, located near the Warren Theater, is one example of the resiliency of the Moore community. The tornado ripped right through the center of the public park that serves the Plaza Tower Elementary School neighborhood.

“This park symbolizes the resiliency of Moore, the recovery,” Jensen said. “And not just recovering and going back to where we were, but being better than we were and stronger and more improved. With the things that we’ve been able to do with our partners here at Little River, we’re well on our way in doing that.”

Thanks to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and a number of community partners, the park has not only been restored, but is growing into a lively community gathering spot. Learn how the rebirth of this city park is enhancing the recovery of the Moore community in a recent segment of Oklahoma Gardening.

Oklahoma City Community Foundation Breaks Ground on Building Expansion

New addition will provide meeting space for charitable organizations

Building expansion rendering

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation broke ground May 3 on a building expansion project that will provide more meeting space for charitable organizations in the community. Located in Oklahoma City’s historic Automobile Alley, the 15,000-square-foot addition will connect to the Community Foundation’s existing building at 1000 N. Broadway Ave.

“Since 1969, we have remained committed to the ideals of our founder, Mr. John Kirkpatrick, to serve the charitable needs of the community,” said Nancy B. Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation President. “This expansion will strengthen our ability to grow philanthropy in the community, providing additional capacity for increased charitable programs and services.”

The three-floor structure will adjoin the south end of the existing building and expand the availability of meeting space for charitable organizations. Approximately six new meeting rooms, 10 offices and additional work space and storage will be housed in the first two floors, with the third floor remaining unfinished for future growth.

“Since moving into our current location in 2007, we have experienced tremendous growth,” Anthony said. “Community requests for our services and use of our space far exceeds our current building’s capacity.”

The building addition was designed by the architects of the original building, Hornbeek Blatt, and will be built by Lingo Construction.

“The new building addition is designed to complement, not duplicate the existing building aesthetics,” said Anthony Blatt, principal with Hornbeek Blatt Architects. “It is also a respectful neighbor to the surrounding nationally historic Automobile Alley District and a wonderful addition to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the district as a whole.”

Construction on the approximately $4.1 million project is expected to be completed in May 2018.