On channel 11, it looks great.
But if they moved the cameras back a little, you'd
realize how cramped the studios are.
Move them further back, and you'd realize they're
broadcasting from an old pizza restaurant.
Even further, and you'd see airplanes flying close
That's how the Tulsa studio of the award-winning
Oklahoma Education Television Authority is operating.
When Tulsa legislators pooled their state capital
improvements bond money, though, they planted the seed for
Seed money, that is. About $250,000 of it.
"We have the premier public television station in the
country. Tulsa is due a facility in keeping with this
standing," said OETA Director Malcolm Wall.
"We're doing an assessment of how much space we need. The
Tulsa delegation (of legislators) decided that Tulsa and
Green Country deserves better," he said.
Legislators have experienced the problems firsthand.
"The Tulsa studio has always been a poor cousin of the
main facility," said Rep. Russ Roach, D-Tulsa.
Roof leaks, flaking bricks, space limitations, airport
interference and equipment problems are just some of the
problems with the studio. After being interviewed
several times at the building at 811 N. Sheridan Road,
Roach and several Tulsa legislators took it upon themselves
to kick-start the studio relocation fund.
By allocating the bond money, they hope to attract the
attention of one of Tulsa's higher education facilities,
"We originally envisioned the studio going to the
OSU-Tulsa campus, but OU-Tulsa is also an option," he said.
Seed money sometimes provides the impetus to secure
private funds from businesses and foundations of local
universities, Roach said.
"We don't think it is proper to continue to pour public
money into a facility that's falling apart," Wall said.
At the time of purchase, it was all they could afford,
The building had already been converted once to a
machine shop after it was a pizza restaurant.
The furnace, however, still exists.
Nathan Osburn, World staff writer, can be reached at
581-8369 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.