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Groups Eye Two Tulsa Parks on Possible Surplus List

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Two City of Tulsa parks being considered for sale as surplus property are already being looked at.

Bishop Kelley High School wants to buy Mitchell Park, which it sold to the city in the 1960s. Rev. Brian O’Brien is president of the school. He said they want to build a 10-court tennis complex there for the students.

"And then also the community. It could be a space that's used by tennis teams, tennis clubs, and then also Bishop Kelley students volunteering their time to teach younger kids how to play the game of tennis," O'Brien said.

Students currently use the courts at LaFortune Park. The school would also use the land to increase its stadium parking.

One park board member wanted to consider a long-term lease for the park instead of selling it. O'Brien said that won't work for the private school.

"We don't have tax bonds. We don't have tax dollars," O'Brien said. "I think our donors would be much less likely to get on board with a project in which we're leasing from the city as opposed to owning the property."

Mitchell has not yet been declared surplus by the city. Neither has Lantz Park at Independence Street and Yale Avenue, which another group wants repurposed as a dog park.

Tulsa’s parks board will give a group three months to study whether that's feasible.

"Of course, the issue of mowing and trash disposal and water usage and electricity if the field is lighted is what we're looking at over the next three months, to see what kind of costs would be involved, to see if we as a private group can raise the money and make a commitment to the city to do that," said dog park task force member Greg Bledose.

The parks are on a list of 11 submitted to the board last month as potential surplus property. It's up to the city council to declare any of them as surplus.