Tulsa County Courthouse renovations will help crowded entrances
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2012
10/22/12 at 5:34 PM
Correction: A Monday Tulsa World quotation accompanying a story misspelled the name of Tulsa County Commission Chairman John Smaligo.
The Tulsa County Courthouse is a busy place on its slowest day, with elected officials, judges and everyday folk hustling in and out to take care of matters big and small - from county commission meetings to marriage licences to sentencings.
But the past few months the place has been busier than ever, thanks to ongoing construction.
But that will end soon, officials say. A new eastside entrance along Denver Avenue is set to be completed in January, with renovation of the north entrance on Civic Center Plaza to be finished the following month.
"The east entrance has a large two-story entrance lobby that will have space to allow for two separate cueing lines to go through security," said Tim Boeckman, president of CJC Architects Inc., which designed the project. "It opens directly into the existing escalator that goes from the first floor to the third floor."
The east entrance will be topped off with a meeting room to be constructed parallel to the third floor.
Boeckman said that once the east entrance is completed, crews will finish renovation of the north entrance.
That entrance also will have the capacity to handle two lines of pedestrian traffic passing through security.
"It is very crowded," Boeckman said. "So what we are doing is we are basically enclosing the space that is under the roof canopy that exists today and putting in new entrance doors."
The east entrance will include a waiting area to be constructed where an information booth currently exists.
A new information booth is being built down the hall near the center of the corridor, providing personnel with a clear view of all entrances and exits.
The courthouse facility, at 500 S. Denver Ave., includes two connected structures - the Ray Jordan Tulsa County Administration Building on the south end and the courthouse on the north end.
The county began planning for the renovations in January 2011 with the intent to improve vehicle and pedestrian access to the buildings, improve the structure's energy efficiency, and ensure that the building meets requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Work on the project was delayed earlier this year to give officials time to consider additional security options after a gunman opened fire on the plaza north of the courthouse March 7.
The plans were then modified to add concrete to the east entrance and brick to the north entrance. In addition, the glass in both entrances will be laminated to keep shards of glass from spraying should the windows be broken.
The project was initially estimated to cost $800,000 but is now projected to come in at $1,179,206.
It is being paid for with 4 to Fix 2 funds that were approved by voters for courthouse improvements.
"This will definitely enhance the flow of the public into the courthouse and provide an even greater level of security," said County Commission Chairman John Smaligo.
Original Print Headline: Opening new doors
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
The new entrance on the east side of the Tulsa County Courthouse will allow for better flow into the building, with added security. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
A new information desk is under construction inside the Tulsa County Courthouse, part of the changes taking place there. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Alterations are ongoing on the plaza side of the Tulsa County Courthouse. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Work on the plaza side of the Tulsa County Courthouse is part of various renovations taking place to allow for easier flow in and out of the building. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World