Video: Taking a drive on the Gathering Place site

The people behind A Gathering Place for Tulsa are letting The Frontier give you an exclusive look at how construction on the much-anticipated park is going.

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That man you see driving the truck is Jeff Stava. He’s building a park, and everyone, it seems, is watching him closely to see how he does.

The park is called A Gathering Place for Tulsa. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation is funding it with assistance from Tulsa’s corporate and philanthropic communities.

When Phase I is completed in late 2017, the park will cover 66.5 acres along Riverside Drive.

A Gathering Place for Tulsa park will cover nearly 100 acres along the Riverside Drive when it is completed. Phase 1 includes 66.5 acres
A Gathering Place for Tulsa park will cover nearly 100 acres along the Riverside Drive when it is completed. Phase 1 includes 66.5 acres that will stretch from about the 2700 block of Riverside Drive on the east side of the street and to 34th Street along the west side of Riverside. /Rendering provided

Stava is a worrier, and this serves him well in this massive undertaking. It can be all-consuming.

So a couple of times a week, he gets in his truck and drives the park site to see how things are going.

Last week, he allowed me and my colleague Dylan Goforth (the guy in the back seat) to join him.

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A Gathering Place for Tulsa project manager Jeff Stava gave The Frontier an exclusive look at what’s happening behind the curtains at the park site. Stava is the executive director of Tulsa’s Gathering Place, LLC. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

The Frontier plans to tag along with Stava every couple of months to get a ground-level view of the park construction.

Many of the changes to the property that we’ll chronicle are bound to be dramatic.

Think muddy gashes in the ground being transformed into sparking ponds and land bridges rising into the air above Riverside Drive.

Some changes will be less visually stunning but just as significant.

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Work continues at A Gathering Place for Tulsa. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

For example, just days after we toured the park site with Stava on Thursday he announced that the Kaiser Foundation had replaced the general contractor on the project.

We’ll know how that’s coming along in early October, when we hop into Jeff’s truck again and take another spin around the park site.

Enjoy the ride.

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