Claremore Daily Progress

December 12, 2013

Courthouse Plaza shapes up

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County is planning the final stages of the courthouse construction project for the new plaza.
Commissioner Kirt Thacker said it is likely the board will want to do as much as they possibly can to lower the cost of the project.
Some of the work can be done by the county, Thacker said.
However, there are areas of expertise and some areas in which the county lacks the proper equipment, according to Thacker.
“We are glad to see the project progressing,” Thacker said. 
The county has the option to perform work on the project, in an effort, to save money.
The overall estimate of the project using the low bids is approximately $1.2 million, Thacker said.
The lighting alone is $265,900 using the low bid, Thacker said.
The design can be changed if necessary, but we want it to be lit up so it is safer, he said.
Concrete work is estimated to cost about $195,000 for sidewalks, curb and guttering  as well as the entryway area, according to Thacker.
The entry way will include flagpoles and a place for the eternal flame.
Electrical work for the project is estimated at $265,900 to include lighting for flagpoles and the parking lot light poles.
“We are trying to stay with the historical feel of the downtown area,” Thacker said.
The commissioners want to insure the property is a seamless fit with the surrounding area, Thacker said.
It is anticipated that the parking lot will include 33 more spaces than the old lot.
Handicap parking will be located close to the courthouse entrance near the ramps on the north and south ends of the building.
Working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the City of Claremore, the county will put in a crosswalk at the intersection of Missouri Street and Highway 88.
The crosswalk will allow safer passage from the overflow parking to the courthouse when needed, Thacker said. 
The new parking lot plaza will be funded through the building improvements fund and bond proceeds.
Because the courthouse project came in at $19.5 million under the projected cost, the remaining funds will be used to complete the project.
The county has saved money in the building fund for years, Thacker said.
The parking lot will cover an entire city block and include a proper storm water drainage system, he said.