Millennium Center to Feature ‘Green,’ Safe Living

The Millennium Center, a demonstration home at the Tulsa Zoo, will showcase living safely while preserving the environment. The Millennium Center will be built near the Conservation Building at the Tulsa Zoo.

Featured at a press conference announcing the Center on Tuesday, September 26 is Ron Jones, a pioneer in the green building movement and editorial director of Green Builder Magazine. Jones has been a persuasive voice for green building and currently serves as a charter chairman for the National Association of Home Builders Green Building subcommittee and chairman of the steering committee for the inaugural National Green Building conference. Jones’ projects have been featured on HGTV’s Dream Builders and the upcoming new series New Foundations.

Jones and his team’s projects are innovative in the selection and application of materials, energy efficiency, water stewardship, construction waste reduction and recycling, indoor environment quality, and creative land use.

“Our goal is to help families, consumers and professionals learn how to keep families safe and their homes stronger in ways that protect resources for generations to come,” said Mike Gurley, Loss Mitigation manager with State Farm Insurance and general chairman of the Millennium coalition.

The Center will welcome visitors of all ages with hands-on exhibits demonstrating home construction that is disaster resistant, energy efficient, environmentally sound, healthy, and cost effective. Displays inside The Millennium Center will feature disaster-resistant storm safe rooms, energy-efficient designs, recycling and other ways to conserve resources, displays about weather and the natural world. The Millennium Center is believed to be the first project of its kind to capture public attention at a highly popular zoo.

“Not only will The Millennium Center be a family-friendly attraction, it will serve as a place for continuing public education, research, outreach, and marketing about saving energy, building strongly, and living wisely in accord with nature,” said Tim Lovell, director for Tulsa Partners, Inc., a non-profit that is spearheading the project. Tulsa Partners was established in 2001 to help Tulsa become a sustainable and disaster-resistant community.

The Center is a project of a Tulsa coalition, consisting of public and private citizens. Backers are seeking private donations, donated building materials and construction help from expert and lay volunteers. In addition, the Millennium Center coalition includes local and national experts from the fields of environmental conservation, industry, disaster mitigation, meteorology, and architecture. The Center management team includes representatives of the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Zoo, Sustainable Tulsa, State Farm, Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa (HBA) and Tulsa Partners, Inc.

“The HBA, as a partner in the Millennium Center, recently formed a committee to advise and assist during construction,” said Paul Kane, HBA executive director.

The Millennium Center, with the help of many Tulsa business leaders kicked off its Capital Campaign in the spring with a goal to reach $1 million by 2007. The Capital Campaign is chaired by Tulsa businessman David Perkins and Broken Arrow’s Craig Thurmond. Kathy LaFortune, J.D., PhD serves as honorary chair. Fundraising consultant is Lisa Hardin of e2 Worldwide, Inc. Sustaining contributors include State Farm, Tulsans Lindsay and Diane Siegfried Perkins; and Molly Williford.

For more information about The Millennium Center, to contribute, or to get involved, see or call 596-2696.

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