A nomination is being submitted that could land Claremore's federal building on the National Register of Historic Places.
A presentation was made to the Rogers County Commissioners this week. After the presentation, and just a few questions, the commissioners approved the request to submit the nomination.
"Dr. Brown, who is on the Main Street Board and helped in the process of getting Main Street on the National Register of Historic Places, made a presentation about nominating the Federal Building," said Commissioner Ron Burrows. "And we are happy to do that."
He said the historic designation would not impact the county's current plans for the building. The commissioners learned that if the building does end up on the register, it does not place any regulations or restrictions on possible future owners of the building.
"We are modernizing the inside with funds we received for that purpose," Burrows said. "And we are keeping the exterior as close to what it was in the 1930s as we can."
He said across the country countless historic buildings have been torn down. He's happy, now, to see movement geared towards preservation and restoration.
Main Street Director Jessica Jackson recently participated in the process of getting Claremore's downtown on the historic registry.
She said the timeline was a bit different for her as she was working with an entire district rather than one building.
"Once the application is done it is reviewed by the state's historic preservation office, who meets quarterly," Jackson said. "Then it goes to the National Park Service. From there it takes another couple of months before it is approved. So, I would say it is at least a year from beginning to end."
Jackson said they had hoped to include the Federal Building in the downtown district but were unable to do so and only extended their historic district to the adjacent alley.
"This will be a really great addition," she said. "The more historic buildings we can get on the registry the better. It shows that we value history, we value our town and really the county as a whole."
The building has been purchased by the county and is undergoing the necessary renovations to serve as the Rogers County Sheriff's Office's new administration building.
Sheriff Scott Walton called the building a "dream come true" for the office.
"Were very proud that it could be back on the historic registry. I love that," Walton said. "I remember going in the building as a small child with my parents and it was the post office. I remember going in later and it was the Department of Agriculture. It's just always been a landmark for me. I never dreamed that I'd have an office in that building as an adult."
He said the moving offices to the federal building will free up space in their existing building for more beds for inmates, which will help ease some of the overcrowding burdens.
"I think it will be very efficient for us," he added. "If you look at the way we do things now…the guys are running back and forth. And any time you add steps, you take away from efficiency."
In January of 2017, it was reported that the total cost estimate to make both interior and exterior improvements to the building was roughly $652,000.
Burrows said the renovation project is about 40 percent complete.
"It's right on budget and on schedule" Burrows said.