By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – The Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office is due a facelift.
Canadian County Commissioners have awarded a $32,748.16 quote to Sparrow Construction for the remodeling project at the district court clerk’s office in El Reno.
Only the one quote – from Sparrow Construction – was received, Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst told county commissioners.
An update seems overdue at Hirst’s office, which is housed on the first floor of the Canadian County Judicial Building at 301 N Choctaw.
Hirst told commissioners the carpet in her office is 32 years old and has “never been changed.”
The remodeling project will include other upgrades, such as painting, removing a wall and making Hirst’s office larger, providing a conference room for training.
The Canadian County Clerk employs 24 people, with 21 employees at the office inside the judicial building.
“It was not designed for that many people,” Hirst said.
The remodeling project “will help with health and morale,” she advised commissioners.
Plans for the remodeling project have evolved, Hirst explained.
“My original plans were to have new countertops installed and desks with them, and everyone who waits on the public would be at the counter,” the court clerk said. “That would make our workflow much better but due to cost and the promise of a future courthouse or major modifications to the existing one in the near future, I chose to get new carpet and paint and make modifications to my personal office and some other minor cosmetic items.
“Our office was not designed for this large a staff and the other modifications I wanted to make were more than I think the commissioners wanted to commit to at this time.”
When Hirst first came to work in March 1996, there were about a dozen employees in the court clerk’s office.
“We have grown because of the workload,” she said.
County Commission Chairman Marc Hader credited members of the court clerk’s office for “doing their due diligence” in making plans for the office remodeling.
County commissioners unanimously approved Sparrow Construction’s $32,748.16 quote to perform the work. Sparrow’s quote was “detailed,” Hader added.
An agreement with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office to provide inmate help and community service personnel could help reduce the project cost, Hirst noted.