LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Monday, an announcement was made to build an Innovation Accelerator Center in Lawton. It’s all in an effort to modernize the way the Army does business by creating technology to help our troops win wars.
Plans for the Innovation Accelerator Center are in the very early stages, but the vision is to build a place where defense contractors meet to support Fort Sill and their Cross Functional Teams, which are Air and Missile Defense and Long Range Precision Fires.
“They can collaborate to help the CFT’s meet the challenges of the futures and develop new weaponry for the future for field artillery and air defense artillery," said Mayor Stan Booker.
Brad Cooksey is the President of the Lawton Economic Development Corporation and says this could also benefit Comanche County and the entire state. The goal is to create high-tech jobs.
“The complexity and diversity of Lawton allows us to get after a number of different things and any success we have is positive," said Cooksey. "We’re talking about high-tech jobs. It fits with the military and we hope it’ll have a snowball effect when it comes to more jobs.”
Funding this project, which Mayor Booker says could be an estimated $4 million, will come from the CIP extension, expected to be voted on in January 2020.
“For the price of one road, we could do this entire innovation center to grasp these technology jobs," said Mayor Booker. "These jobs would keep our kids home or bring them back home after they get an education.”
Among the options to house the Innovation Accelerator Center, is the former Fairmont Creamery. Until that is set in stone, the Center will be held at Cameron University and the Great Plains Technology Center. Mayor Booker says he’s excited about the opportunity.
“The city leaders are at the forefront of grasping these opportunities so we can grow our economy and provide jobs for our citizens," said Mayor Booker.
Monday’s community discussion was the first of many to make the Innovation Accelerator Center a reality. Mayor Booker encourages feedback on the project. You can provide those messages through his Facebook page, Stan Booker, Mayor of Lawton, OK.