After a nearly yearlong delay, crews should soon break ground in north Tulsa on the city’s fourth Educare site.
Chris Hudgins, executive director of bond and energy management for Tulsa Public Schools, said he expects construction for Educare 4 to begin in February or March.
The early childhood education center will be built on the site of Clinton Park, which is just west of Celia Clinton Elementary School near Pine Street and Harvard Avenue. Hudgins said the school is scheduled to be completed around May 2020 and will take in students for the 2020-21 school year.
Educare 4 reportedly will provide service for about 160 children ranging from infants to 4-year-olds.
The TPS school board voted last year to approve $6 million in bond funds for construction of the $12 million project. The George Kaiser Family Foundation also will contribute $6 million.
Officials originally expected to begin construction in spring 2018 and have it completed by this summer.
However, Hudgins said the project was pushed back due to issues with land and Board of Adjustment approval, which have been resolved.
Board members in October approved a lease agreement with the city to exchange 10 acres of unused land owned by the district for 10 acres of Clinton Park to use for the Educare project.
That agreement was amended this week to give TPS 6.7 acres instead of 10. The remaining 3.2 acres will remain part of Clinton Park. Hudgins said the reduction will not affect the size of the school. The district would have used those acres as public space.
“The intention was that it was always going to be left open for the public, and now the city of Tulsa is just going to maintain it,” he said.
The city still will receive the 10 acres of unused land near 15th Street and 156th East Avenue. TPS has owned the land — known as Posey Property — for decades, Hudgins said, in anticipation of growth in that area of east Tulsa.
“At one time we thought the east side was going to develop out there, and it hasn’t,” he said. “So we still have other open properties that are much more suitable for a school.”