TulsaRecMapBy 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.

Continued – Click here to read the entire Tulsa World article


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.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.


  1. Since when are city parks and recreaion centers required to be revenue neutral? It is a shame that the citizens of Tulsa cannot find a way to keep recreation centers and swimming pools open. These are for our kids. We live in a civilized society. Civilization requires a little long-term investment for the welfare of its children. How many residents of Tulsa learned to swim ( my husband and I and our child did) at the city pools or play basketball at the rec centers. Now we wish to replace these with concrete spray pools?

    Low maintenance? Really? I would say selfishness and politics definately play a role here. Preserving parks is not a luxury. It just make sense in the long term. Now if you wish to learn to swim you can get your mom drive across town to a pool that happens to still be open. No transportation.? Just get on the bus for that long ride. Or maybe you can just go to your country club.


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