Bid opening delayed in juvenile center expansion

Officials with the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center will have to wait a few more day to find out how much a planned expansion of the facility will cost.

The project, which will add safe rooms at the facility in east El Reno, was expected to have bids opened Monday was delayed Monday.

County Clerk Sherry Murray said the architectural firm asked for a delay after addendums were added to the project.

Clerk said that in all, there were four addendums, including the last one issued last Thursday that moved the date of the opening to Thursday.

The commissioners have approved a special meeting Thursday at 2 p.m. to open the bids.

However, District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart, who is serving as chairman of the board, said it will take at least two weeks after the opening to analyze the bids.

The project has been in the planning stages for several years.

In 2013, an F5 tornado skirted the facility’s property. At the time, officials had nowhere to provide safety for the staff or the children housed at the facility.

Officials have said the project will involve the construction of two safe rooms. One will be used specifically as a storm shelter and will be in the detention area.

The second shelter will be constructed to safeguard employees and visitors to the center.

It will be used as a conference room most of the time.

Officials have estimated the project will cost $3 million.

Officials also have established several add-ons including additional office space and a second courtroom.

The expansion will also improve security of the building, which opened in 1999.

The project will be funded through a 1996 countywide sales tax.

Also during Monday’s meeting, under commissioners’ comments, there was discussion of funding for the county’s pipeline inspection department.

Initially, each commissioner budgeted $10,000 from their department’s funds to pay for the department.

In addition, Stewart agreed to purchase a vehicle for the department from his district’s account.

Since the beginning of the year when the program began, the department has generated enough funds to pay for itself.

Officials agreed that some of those funds could be transferred to the commissioners to reimburse their accounts.

Since Jan. 1, at least 228 temporary or permanent permits have been issued by the county, including six this week.

They were issued to Howard Drilling, MarkWest Oklahoma, Blankenship Service Co. and Select Energy.

In other action, the commissioners:

  • Approved the designation of commissioners requisitioning and receiving officers;
  • Approved a lease and maintenance agreement with Konica Minolta Business Solutions on behalf of the county assessor’s office;
  • Approved the designation of requisition and receiving officers for the emergency management department;
  • Welcomed Andrew Skidmore as the county’s new emergency manager.

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