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Officials Predict Costs Could be Higher Than for World Trade Center

April 26, 1995

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The federal building bombing, already the costliest terrorist act in U.S. history in terms of life, could prove the most expensive as well.

Damage from the Oklahoma explosion could top the $510 million in destruction wrought by the World Trade Center bomb, said Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute in New York.

Worters said insured damage alone _ the only figure her agency calculates _ will be more than $200 million. When all losses are figured in, she said, she wouldn’t be surprised if Oklahoma bomb damage surpasses the $510 million figure from the World Trade Center bombing.

Rebuilding the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building will cost $28 million, the government estimates, and that does not include the cost of tearing down the bombed one.

Damage to the adjacent federal courthouse and post office will top $1 million, mainly for broken glass, lighting and furniture, said John Pouland, regional administrator for the General Services Administration in Fort Worth.

Damage to private property was also extensive. Besides the federal building, eight structures have collapsed and 14 more are off-limits until major repairs are completed, said Albert Ashwood, disaster recovery manager for the state Department of Civil Emergency Management.

Most building owners did not yet have estimates of how much the rebuilding would cost. But they said it wouldn’t be cheap.

Fixing just the outside of the 91-year-old First United Methodist Church, which lost its roof and two walls, will cost more than $3 million, said church general counsel Darrell Coppedge.

And because it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, the church must be rebuilt, rather than replaced, if at all possible, Coppedge said. ``It’s going to cost a lot more to rebuild than to bulldoze and replace,″ he said.

The Downtown YMCA’s board of directors was to meet Thursday to discuss the fate of the building, which appears structurally sound but is ruined inside, said spokesman Mike Grady. He estimated the replacement cost of the building at $10 million.

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