Prepare to say hello to a new welcome facility for scouting activities on the Jack Graves Scout Reservation at 2800 E. New Orleans St.
West of Northeastern State University–Broken Arrow, and about 150 yards north of the roadway, the new $630,900 Jack Graves Welcome Center is under construction.
“The building is a single story, 2,100-square-foot center,” said Bill Dill, superintendent of construction for Sapulpa-based Vista Construction Inc.
The rustic-looking building is just north of a three-acre pond.
“QuikTrip Corporation donated a walking bridge that traverses the west end of the pond,” Dill said, “and there is a fishing dock on the south side of the building that kids will be able to fish from.”
Right now, much of the site is a muddy mess after Monday’s light snowfall. However, Dill said all that will change as the center reaches its springtime completion date.
“There will be concrete completely surrounding the building and an asphalt driveway from the gate at East New Orleans Street leading to a parking area that will also be asphalt,” he said.
The parking lot will allow for people to park who are accessing areas directly west and north of the center, including a workshop that faces east toward the university.
Although the center may appear to be a log cabin, Dill said, “It is a steel-framed structure. The logs are more or less a facade on the building to go along with the theme of the Boy Scouts.”
The center does not have food preparation or dormitory facilities but the amount of planned surfacing should allow people afoot – as well as those who use an apparatus for mobility – easy access, he said.
Scout Executive and CEO Bill Haines, of the Indian Nation Council of the Boy Scouts of America officed in Tulsa, said the Jack Graves Scout Reservation – formerly known as Camp Russell – is the most popular property in the council and the most widely used.
“We’re trying to offer more opportunity to more segments of our community,” he said.
The upgrades, costing a total of $1.2 million, will include soccer fields and other field sports, family camping and a ropes course. The picnic and boating area on the property is also being expanded.
The property and the new welcome center is named after the late Tulsa businessman Jack (J.M.) Graves, who was on the National Boy Scouts Board and was a member of the Indian Nations Council and its president for several terms.
“Because of his involvement in Scouting, the family wanted to recognize his dedication to youth and families and they have decided to do that through Scouting and this piece of property,” Haines said.
“The Graves family has been so generous to so many groups in the Tulsa area ... they do a lot for handicapped and disadvantaged kids.”