Oklahoma Dept Of Wildlife Conservation Waterfall 1a

Aquariums at Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation Headquarters

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) recently opened its new headquarters in Oklahoma City. The previous office building was heavily damaged by a tornado in May 2013. The headquarters offers additional office space and new aquariums and dioramas that cater to outdoor enthusiasts.

Oklahoma-based Beck Design, the architect of record, hired COST to assist with details to their exhibit and diorama drawing package. Beyond shop drawings, study models were completed by COST to ensure the design intent was met. Once shop drawings and models were finished, the package was tendered for exhibit bids through a competitive bid process.

The exhibit construction scope of services included two aquariums, life support systems (LSS), a large mountain diorama, and theme applications to the center’s help desk.

Upon award, COST’s project manager Alan Bentfield began fabricating LLS, tanks, framing and decking for the aquariums, and all secondary steel for the simulated rock mountain. Trees and other foliage were also fabricated off-site to condense field construction schedules.

The two 1,000-gallon aquariums and complete LSS for both tanks were shipped to the job site. The aquariums are accented with decorative mud bank and rock inserts. A weathered steam profile facade, that resembles Western Oklahoma river basins, surrounds the tanks and equipment room.

The 26-ft. tall rock mountain includes rock styles from four different geographic regions of OK. COST artisans carved and painted the rock mountain and water feature. Once complete, the respective regional faux vegetation and grasses were added to each zone. The vegetation was finished in seasonal coloration based on location. A final diorama includes a grassland with faux sand and dirt mounding.

A theme help desk that resembles a duck blind, along with two faux tree column wraps, completes the exhibit scope.

CMS Willowbrook performed the general contracting services.