Closed GM plant seen as opportunity for Tinker

Published: Friday, June 19, 2009 7:00 am By: Heather Caliendo
option to purchase the facility.

The $44 million in bonds may be reduced when the metal scrap from the GM facility is sold.

Doug Cato, commander with the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, said the Tinker Aerospace Complex opens several doors for the Air Force base.

There are several World War II and Korean War-era facilities that are not conducive to a productive work environment. Those facilities get particularly hot in the summer, and Cato said millions of dollars are spent on air conditioning units.

The other option is to work on a rest cycle where employees do 15 minutes of work, but have to rest for 45 minutes due to the high temperature.

"You can imagine how unproductive that was for our Air Force," said Cato. "This gives us an opportunity to consolidate workload into one facility and streamline that workload to be more efficient."

The Air Force will demolish about 1.1 million square feet of substandard facilities.

Part of the Tinker Aerospace Complex will be used for industrial space, with remaining space used for partnerships with the local community and industry.

Roberts-Krieger said she is happy talks for the Tinker Aerospace Complex began in 2005, and not now.

"There are many vacant manufacturing facilities right now for automotive that are coming off the tax rolls and communities are trying to figure out what to do," she said. "This could have been a different conversation."

Back to top