By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Work is underway on a large facility that will protect a major Canadian County investment from the elements.
A 15,750-square-foot equipment building is under construction at Canadian County District 3’s yard, 1205 N Calumet Road.
In February, Robinson Bros. Construction was awarded a $203,500 contract to build the double-sided “lean-to” behind the District 3 shop. The El Reno company had the lower price of two vendors submitting bids.
The new equipment building is expected to be finished in four to six weeks, weather permitting.
“When I came on board, I noticed there wasn’t a structure to protect the investment of all the equipment we have,” District 3 Commissioner Tracey Rider said.
Rider, who took office in November 2022, knew she’d be buying new equipment that would be housed at the District 3 yard.
District 3 foreman Dean Walker and Rider agreed they “wanted to have a lean-to so we could protect the equipment,” the first-year commissioner pointed out.
The new structure will be 70 feet by 225 feet, according to Walker.
“The bays are going to be 25 feet wide and 35 feet deep,” Walker said.
Two will be drive-through bays with a metal wall.
A wash bay will be on the north end of the building.
This project includes installing a separator, which will separate oil and water when crews wash the equipment thus protecting nearby creeks.
District 3’s 15 full-time crew members really look forward to utilizing the equipment building.
“They’re becoming proud of their yard,” Commissioner Rider pointed out.
‘BLOW AND GO’
Contractor personnel are hard at work getting the structure up.
“The concrete will have to cure for a period of time before they set the uprights,” said Walker, who’s been with Canadian County for five years. “Once they get that done, then they’ll be able to just ‘blow and go’.
“The rafters are built. … We’ve got the equipment that they can borrow to help raise the heavy steel.”
Along with installing this new facility, District 3 is making safety upgrades along gravel roads.
“We started bringing in decomposed granite, which is less expensive than gravel,” Rider added. “It cuts down on dust by 85-90%.
“We started putting that in the front of the drives at some people’s houses. And we’re going to put it at a couple of intersections because those can be unsafe.”
District 3 is the last of Canadian County’s three districts to have its own equipment building.
“We’ve even talked about building a new shop,” Walker said. “The shop we have was built in 1956.”
Once the equipment building is finished, Commissioner Rider will start the process of planning the new District 3 shop with an attached garage on-site.
“We have to be able to equip our people with what they need to do the best job,” the first-year county commissioner said. “That’s the goal.”