Tulsa Rowing Club Unveils New Boathouse Design on Arkansas River To Replace Structure Destroyed by 2016 Fire

Club Launches Fundraising Effort to Handle Increased Costs of Building Requirements

TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Rowing Club today released architectural renderings of its new boathouse on the west bank of the Arkansas River that will replace the original 1991 boathouse destroyed by arson fire in 2016.

The new boathouse, designed by Fritz Baily Architects, will be situated at the same location as the previous structure, across the river from downtown in Tulsa River Parks Authority’s River West Festival Park area, near 21st Street and Jackson Avenue.

The new structure will include three boat bays to store boats. It also will be taller to allow for an upper-story mezzanine-type workout area.

According to rowing club leaders, the estimated cost to replace the boathouse is approximately $500,000. The club has adequate insurance to replace a boathouse with the previous warehouse-style design – but not for the increased cost of a design that meets the requirements of the city’s new River Design Overlay (RDO), which was passed after the boathouse was destroyed.

“The new RDO zoning requirements are great for development along the river, but they make it harder for us to build the same boathouse we built in 1991,” explained Tulsa Rowing Club member Claudia Brierre. “As a result, we’ve had to adapt our design and that’s dramatically increased our building costs. With money on hand from insurance we hope to build a shell of a building with no bathrooms, and probably need $150,000 to complete the boathouse and finish the interior.”

Brierre added that if the rowing club were to complete the mezzanine in its updated design, the club would need an additional $120,000, which would allow for a workout space above the boat storage on the east side of the building and provide training facilities for the club’s companion high school rowing program, Tulsa Youth Rowing Association.

“We’ve been a presence on the river since 1982, and there’s a strong rowing community here in Tulsa. With this new boathouse, we can increase our visibility and be ready for the increased use of the Arkansas River when the Zink Lake improvements are completed as part of the Vision process in the next three years.”

As a result, the Tulsa Rowing Club has launched a fundraising effort to secure additional money to complete a boathouse that meets the City of Tulsa’s new building requirements for structures along the Arkansas River.

“Our club has been actively working toward building a new boathouse for more than a year, talking with an architect to design and prepare construction drawings for the new structure,” she said. “We have an anonymous donor willing to match donations 1 for 1 up to $100,000, so we’re going to do everything we can to build a boathouse that Tulsans can be proud of and that meets our members’ needs for years to come.”

The club has already received funds from two Tulsa-area foundations – Cuesta Foundation and ONEOK Foundation.

For those interested in assisting with completion of the club’s boathouse on the Arkansas River, donations can be made on the Tulsa Rowing Club website, www.tulsarowing.org, or at the following GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/tulsa-rowing-club-new-boathouse.

Brierre said the rowing club hopes to have final construction plans out for bid in about six weeks, with a groundbreaking for the initial construction set for late spring or early summer 2018.

Despite losing the boathouse, rowing club members have still managed to row on a limited basis by renting temporary river-side storage space from the River Parks Authority.

“We have so appreciated all the incredible assistance Tulsa’s River Parks has provided our rowing club,” said Brierre. “We’ve always had a great relationship with them, and we look forward to continuing to grow rowing in Tulsa and being a part of the city’s renaissance along the Arkansas River.”


About the Tulsa Rowing Club
The Tulsa Rowing Club, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, serves high school and adult rowers ages 13 to 75 in the Tulsa area. Club members regularly compete in regattas around the country, and the club hosts regattas here in Tulsa. TRC offers free Learn to Row camps in the summer each year for adults who are interested in learning to row.

Claudia Brierre, (918) 579-9431
Barrett Waller, (918) 284-0796

November 30, 2017 | Masters