President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 19, 2015
Senate advances plan on OKPOP Museum
The state Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that
would provide funding for construction of the Oklahoma Museum of
Popular Culture, better known as OKPOP. Authored by Senate President
Pro Tempore Brian
Bingman, Senate Bill 839 would provide a $25 million bond for
construction of the museum, which will require no new state appropriations
to fund operations.
“The Oklahoma Historical Society’s track record of
building self-sustaining facilities, and their credible, realistic
business plan for OKPOP assure us this project will be a success,”
said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Significant private sector pledges
have already been secured, and our state’s cultural community
has fully embraced the project. This is the right plan at the right
time, and it gives us a rare opportunity to have a world-class museum
that will celebrate our state and have a positive economic impact.”
Under SB 839, state-appropriated funds that are currently being
used to retire bond debt for the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS)
facility will remain in the Historical Society’s budget and
be directed to OKPOP.
Land for the facility has been donated, and an estimated $10 million
in exhibits and collections will also be donated, rather than purchased.
OHS has secured prominent collections from figures such as Garth
Brooks, Will Rogers and Bob Wills, among numerous others.
“This bill gives us a chance to secure and promote the kind
of important historical and cultural material that is currently
being exhibited in museums in Nashville or California,” Bingman
said. “The thorough and careful planning that has gone into
this plan ensures that we can do so in a fiscally responsible way.”
SB 839 now advances to the House for consideration.
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