Washington County officials tour the remodeled first floor courthouse and jury room at the County Judicial Center in downtown Bartlesville.
Commissioner Mike Dunlap toured the facility on Monday morning. Dunlap says he’s excited to see how far this project has come since it began in October 2021.
Commissioner Dunlap believes the courthouse is a structure that has been used in Washington County for a long time, so they must be responsible for updating and maintaining the facility, which he has done most of his life. He says he has other ideas for updating the space and transforming the building into something they can all be proud of.
The idea is to extend the project into the hallway. Commissioner Dunlap says he is looking at offers to install matching courtroom wall coverings along the hallway walls, in addition to improving the lighting and lowering the ceiling. He says they need to see if that would be affordable.
In the meantime, Commissioner Dunlap says, they’re waiting for furniture for the courtroom and jury room. According to Dunlap, jury chairs will need to be installed in the courtroom, which is scheduled to take place sometime this week. He believes the Supreme Court will have jurisdiction over tables and chairs.
Commissioner Dunlap says the finish of RECO Construction is of high quality. He says the oak work and everything they’ve done is beautiful. He also commended local architect Dan Keleher and his team for their contribution to the project.
This project was instituted after the Washington County Election Board moved out of the courthouse and into the fourth floor of Bartlesville City Hall across the street. The Electoral Committee began moving in February and later held an open house in May.
The move was also made possible by an agreement between the City of Bartlesville and Washington County. This agreement was reached in January.
Before Memorial Day weekend, Washington County Commissioners awarded Stout Construction a $13,750 bid to demolish the old Elections Committee offices in the courthouse. This work took place on the bank holiday weekend in May 2021. Commissioner Dunlap said this would allow bidders to see what they were working with; it would give potential bidders a chance to see the space they would be working in before placing a bid.
The Washington County Commissioners opened bids for the courtroom renovation on Monday, August 30. RECO Construction submitted a $328,372 bid with an alternative discount of $23,635 for courtroom chairs. The other bid was from Timberlake Construction for $384,000 with an alternative reduction of $24,000.
The bids were held for a few weeks before the commissioners voted to award the bid to RECO Construction on Monday 13 September.
The courtroom renovation began on Monday, October 4th.