Oklahoma Poll: Tulsans evenly divided on park recreation center demolition
By KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Tulsans are split on whether the city should move forward with the demolition of park recreation centers, according to an Oklahoma Poll conducted June 1-5.
The survey of 400 people found 44 percent favor repairing and reopening the centers and 41 percent favor replacing them with less expensive amenities.
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
"I think it helps young kids grow up to have a place they can go to," said poll respondent Richard Balser, 88.
In late 2011 and early 2012, city officials held public meetings to discuss their plans to repurpose nine parks with run-down recreation centers and pools, because the cost to rehabilitate and maintain the facilities had become too expensive.
Neighborhood residents were asked to select from a list of self-directed amenities, such as walking trails, water playgrounds and shelters, that they would like to see put in the parks in place of the recreation centers and pools.
So far, the city has torn down the recreation centers at Turner and Manion parks and replaced them with walking trails and other amenities.
Bill Shapard, president of SoonerPoll, said the poll numbers reflect a racial divide on the issue. Many residents of north Tulsa - the city's historically black section - have strongly opposed the demolition of the recreation centers at Springdale, Ben Hill and B.C. Franklin parks.
About the Oklahoma Poll
The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted June 1-5 by SoonerPoll.com, using a random digit-dialing technique that included cellphone and landline telephone numbers. Results were weighted by gender, age and party. The poll was sponsored by the Tulsa World. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.