The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, Sand Springs Masonic Lodge, state and local officials celebrated the Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety facility July 20.
The Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony celebrated the new, 40,000-square-foot facility in the 600 block of W. Morrow Road, which will house the police and fire departments, municipal court and municipal jail when it opens to public use in August. The 911 dispatch center is already operational there. Voters approved an extension of a portion of the Vision 2025 tax in October of 2015 to build the new public safety facility.
“I’m proud we named the facility after (U.S. Army Staff Sgt.) Billie Hall (who died in Vietnam in 1966 while serving as a medic),” Police Chief Mike Carter said. “He embodies the values we want (our police officers and firefighters) to have and that’s service.”
Hall’s widow, Janice Bellew, also attended the Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony.
State Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs, praised the work that went into the new public safety facility at the ceremony.
“I appreciate the city leaders for having the vision they had (for the facility),” Nollan said. “If you’re a voter and you voted for this, you’re a hero…I’m glad this facility is named for Billie Hall…he made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Mayor Jim Spoon and U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern also gave remarks at the event.
“It’s about making people better,” Hern said. “That’s really what freemasonry is about.”
Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Grand Master Michael Dixon said the Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony dates back to the Colonial days with symbolism rooted in stone building meant to celebrate particularly public buildings.