Canadian County may change scope of historic jail project

Commissioner suggests possibly using construction manager

Jack Stewart

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – Canadian County Commissioners will consider changing the scope of a construction project at the historic county jail.

District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart suggested the board could consider using a construction manager to “manage the process.”

“We might ought to look at taking a different approach,” Stewart said at the May 23rd commissioners’ meeting.

Commissioners recently solicited bids for repairs to an extensively damaged roof on the county-owned structure, which was built between 1908 and 1913.

However, no contractor was interested in taking on the project; no bids were submitted before a May 16th deadline.

Stewart spoke recently with an expert in the construction industry who indicated that contractors may be hesitant due to the risk of this project – since more damage has occurred below the roof and trusses.

“It has deteriorated so bad, it needs to be rebuilt,” Stewart said.

He advised fellow commissioners they should “look at the whole building” and not just the roof.

The roof has partially collapsed causing significant damage to the structure, officials said.

The historic Canadian County Jail is at the corner of Rogers and Evans, adjacent to the renovated stables building near the Canadian County Courthouse and Judicial Building.

In 1985, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

No action was taken Monday morning because the item wasn’t on the agenda, but commissioners will reconsider the project at an upcoming meeting.

Canadian County has budgeted $150,000 to repair the roof, but commissioners previously indicated the cost will likely be higher to make all needed improvements due to the building’s condition.

In March, commissioners approved an agreement with Preservation El Reno, Inc. to accept maintenance responsibility, amending a 1995 lease for the historic jail and stables.

The agreement gives Preservation El Reno the right to take the building back if someone ever wanted to lease it from Canadian County.

The historic Canadian County Jail, near the county courthouse and judicial building in El Reno, needs a major facelift. Canadian County Commissioners will consider changing the scope of a construction project after no bids were received to repair the roof. District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart suggested the county could hire a construction manager. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


In other business at their May 23rd meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:

  • A proposal for the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority to lease-purchase four vehicles: 2022 D6 dozer ($459,164.32), 2023 Peterbilt side-load truck ($459,250), 2023 Peterbilt front-load truck ($415,915), and roll-off truck ($274,500). All-America Bank will provide financing at a 4.08% interest rate for 84 months.
  • Confirmation of Matt Sandridge as trustee and Lindsey Grigg-Moak as alternate trustee representing the City of El Reno on the OEMA Board of Trustees.
  • Annual fiscal year 2023 agreements for the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center to provide alternative education services for students in 10 school districts: Banner, Calumet, Darlington, El Reno, Maple, Minco, Mustang, Riverside, Union City, and Yukon.
  • Renewing agreements for the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office to continue providing uniformed security services on Canadian Valley Technology Center and Mustang Public Schools’ campuses in FY23.

Meanwhile, Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward gave the weekly county jail report – 210 inmates in custody, with 169 prisoners in El Reno and 41 housed in other counties.