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Tulsa County Courthouse Upgrades: Focusing on Essential Safety Improvements

Introduction to Tulsa County Courthouse Renovations

The Tulsa County commissioners have decided to dedicate around $27 million in federal funds to either renovate the existing courthouse or explore the acquisition of a new facility. This investment aims to address urgent safety enhancements at the courthouse on 500 S. Denver Ave., which sees significant daily traffic from employees and citizens alike.

Safety First: Prioritizing Critical Repairs Over Remodeling

Stan Sallee, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, stresses the importance of prioritizing the safety of those who frequent the courthouse. Currently, the focus is on essential repairs that enhance life safety, with discussions about potentially relocating still dependent on available funding. Immediate actions are being guided by the need to ensure public safety without embarking on a full-scale remodeling.

Strategic Use of Federal Funding for Courthouse Improvements

Facing a strict deadline to utilize the $26.9 million from the American Rescue Plan Act by year-end, the county is prioritizing urgent renovations. Architect Chris Lilly has recommended that the initial repairs focus on addressing hazardous conditions like air quality and fire safety, which include upgrades to HVAC systems, building envelope, and elevators. Although the allocated funds might not cover all necessary repairs, decisions on which projects to fund will be made after detailed engineering assessments, with the bidding process set for October.