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A Gathering Place for Tulsa About One-Third Complete

As lots of work happens on one of its signature features, A Gathering Place for Tulsa is 25 to 30 percent complete.

The Williams Companies Lodge at the Gathering Place is taking shape. The lodge will serve as the park's glass-covered gateway.

The basement’s concrete floors and walls have been poured, and Gathering Place Executive Director Jeff Stava pointed out during a Thursday site tour dozens of vertical steel beams that have been placed.

"You can really see the mullions. Those are what hold those glass panels. And you can really start to envision what the envelope of the building is going to look like," Stava said. "So, these are kind of exciting times, you know."

The roughly tree-shaped wood forms for a grand fireplace have been built, too.

"It has outdoor fireplaces under a porte cochere, the patio, and then through the community room, it actually has a fireplace you can actually walk into," Stava said. "You walk into the flue, you can see the smoke going up and the fire right in front of you. Then [the fireplace] goes up out of the top of the building and kind of branches into three."

Workers are also starting on the suspended decks that will surround an outdoor snack bar at the lodge. They're placing supports for the decks carefully and consulting an arborist when they need to.

"When they're digging those micropiles, they're checking to make sure they're trying to dodge and keep away from all the tree roots, because these are the most beautiful and healthy trees within the entire site," Stava said. "We want to protect those and use those as a tree canopy over the food terrace area."

The 66.5 acre first phase of the Gathering Place should be done by late next year.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.