The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 3, 2014

‘Boomer’ to get a new home?: Commission to discuss statue

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — One of Enid’s most recognizable statues once again could find a new home.

The life-size bronze "Boomer" could be relocated to the new plaza at Enid Event Center and Convention Hall.

Ward 1 Commissioner Ron Janzen, who asked the commission to talk about it at tonight’s informal study session, said he has a few concerns about the statue’s future.

No. 1, he said, is the reason "Boomer" currently is stored in a city warehouse.

“A statue like that needs to be up on a base,” said Janzen.

Harold T. Holden, who designed and dedicated "Boomer" in 1987 for the city of Enid, recently was asked to design a base that fits with the sculpture’s design. Holden couldn’t be reached Monday.

The base has not been built, Janzen said.

"Boomer" originally sat in the plaza next to the former Cherokee Strip Conference Center, which has been demolished to make way for a downtown hotel. The city put it in storage and later unveiled its new location on the southeast side of the Event Center.

After just a few days, though, it had disappeared.

“It was not a large-enough area to where the statue wouldn’t be in danger of being struck by cars in that parking lot,” Janzen said Monday.

The design of the new plaza includes space for planters and flower beds. The western-most planter, along Independence, likely will be Boomer’s new place.

“At this location, it’ll be much more protected and it’ll also give us an opportunity to put some lighting on it and maybe plant some appropriate plants there around the base,” Janzen said.

Janzen said he’s confident his recommendation will be supported by his fellow commissioners.

“(City Manager Eric Benson) has indicated to me that none of them seem to have any concern about where it’s located one way or the other,” he said. “I think it’ll be a nice presentation, and I think the commission will probably agree with me.”

The study session begins at 5 p.m. today, with a regular meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott.

Other topics on the study session agenda include talks about making sections of Ponca and East Maple one-way streets. There also will be a presentation on a proposed 42nd Street truck stop, with Lisa Powell of Enid Regional Development Alliance and Enid Travel Plaza’s Andy Geller.

Commissioners plan to vote on almost $700,000 in contracts for the final construction on sections of a stormwater detention facility on North Garland, and for final construction of the Garland tributary detention facility, which is just south of Prairie View School.

Another change order for construction on Enid Event Center also is on the agenda. According to the city’s background statement, the most significant portion of the change order — for $160,393 — is for site grading and stabilization costs after another contractor failed to perform under its contract.