The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 1, 2013

Elevator work continues at county courthouse

ENID, Okla. — Construction delays have postponed the installation of the elevator at Garfield County Court House.

County Commission Chairman Marc Bolz said the elevator has been in the process of repair since January and was scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1. However, additional work had to be done, and the elevator will not be installed until Sept. 15.

“We’re changing some equipment, moving a wall and some things in the shaft, that were ordered by the state inspector,” Bolz said.

The original cost was less than expected, but the additional work, such as changing the control room and the shaft, will push the cost back up. The original estimates for repair of the elevator car were $126,607, with only one anticipated change that would cost $15,923. However, the additional changes were necessary, Bolz said.

All of the equipment will be new, but the car will be the same that has been in use. It will be self-operated, rather than having an individual operate it, Bolz said.

The elevator has been out of operation since January, and Bolz said getting it back in operation has been a long process.

Parts for the elevator are no longer available and the entire system was expected to be replaced. The components in the control room are located on the fifth floor of the courthouse. The room must be made larger for the new equipment. The old jail had walls 10 inches thick with reinforced concrete, and that wall must be removed.

Garfield County Assessor Wade Patterson said previously, the bars were removed from the old jail, but the area behind the elevator was not addressed.

Bolz said commissioners knew they would need to replace the elevator and have been getting the funds to do the work. The money is on hand. Originally, a six-week installation period was expected. Replacement was in the budget when the elevator went out, he said.

The current art deco-style courthouse was built by Hawk & Parr and Reinhart & Donovan beginning Aug. 15, 1934, and completed in 1936. The jail was refurbished in the 1960s. The courthouse is filled with county offices and courtrooms housed in the basement and the first three floors. Garfield County Jail occupied the top two floors until the Garfield County Detention Center was built on South 10th.

The courthouse was funded by the Works Progress Administration Federal Project. Artist Ruth Augur painted historical murals on the building’s walls.

In 1996, Enid artists Paladine Roye and Burgess Roye also painted murals relating to American Indian history.

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