Watch Now: Tulsa VA Downtown Hospital Calls Attention to Collaboration | Local News
The main feature of the complex, a 58-bed VA hospital, is fashioned from the existing office buildings of Kerr and Edmondson. The new construction consists primarily of a new 436-space parking lot that will be built and operated by the City of Tulsa and a mental hospital that will be owned by Oklahoma State University and operated by the State of Oklahoma.
The office complex, valued at $ 35 million, has been transferred from the state to the OSU but will be transferred to the VA when the hospital is completed.
A long list of notables attended Friday’s event, including US Senator James Lankford and Congressmen Kevin Hern and Markwayne Mullin, but notably absent was US Senator Jim Inhofe, who perhaps more than anyone was responsible for securing the federal government’s $ 120 million stake. in the project.
Explanations for Inhofe’s absence were contradictory, but his influence on the project was clear.
“When we said ‘Sen. Inhofe wants this to happen, “it was like getting the golden ticket,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum, who started working on the project as OSU-CHS President. . “Long before OSU applied for this special CHIP-IN program, Senator Inhofe advocated for a VA hospital in Tulsa.”
Inhofe chief of staff Luke Holland noted that such projects typically take 10 to 20 years to materialize, but that one came to fruition in about three years.