$291k price proposed for Canadian County juvenile facility upgrade

Plumbing retrofit needed at 25-year-old detention center

Canadian County Children's Justice Center Director Melanie Johnson

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A needed upgrade at Canadian County’s juvenile detention facility has a hefty price tag.

Jackson Mechanical has proposed performing the plumbing “retrofit” for $291,650 at the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, 7905 E Highway 66.

The detention center was built 25 years ago after Canadian County voters approved an election proposition that established a .35% countywide sales tax to fund the construction and juvenile programs.

“That plumbing is obsolete,” CCCJC Director Melanie Johnson said. “We’ve been ‘limping’ along trying to get parts, which you can’t even really find anymore.”

The plumbing retrofit project will include repairing a pipe in the center’s kitchen.

“For cost savings, (the contractor will) do it all at once,” Johnson explained. “There’s a small gym attached for detention to use. They’re going to have to go clear through there, so it’s going to be a big project.”

Canadian County commissioners on June 5 tabled indefinitely awarding Jackson Mechanical’s $291,650 bid for the project.

The Oklahoma City commercial heating venting and air conditioning (HVAC) company was the only vendor submitting a bid.

A Jackson representative attended Monday morning’s weekly commissioners’ meeting, saying he would answer any questions about the proposed project.

An engineering company’s design plans were included in the bid packet.

“This bid does have some drawings attached to it,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said. “We just received the one bid from Jackson Mechanical – $291,650.”

At Anderson’s request, commissioners postponed the contract award to review the submitted bid documents.

Director Johnson concurred, saying, “That’s a lot of money.”



Among other business at their June 5 meeting, Canadian County commissioners approved:

  • Participating in the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma’s Self-Insurance Group (ACCO-SIG) workers compensation program for fiscal year 2024. Cost is $452,892 to cover 300 employees. Canadian County is saving $7,000 by making a one-time annual payment instead of two payments to ACCO’s Self-Insurance Fund.
  • Authorizing District 1 to rent a Weiler S200 Stabilizer and a DT74C Sweeper from Warren CAT for road construction projects.
  • Renewing an interlocal agreement with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office to allow Canadian County to house its prisoners in the Grant County Jail.
  • Resolutions to declare county equipment as surplus – Datto storage backup for the Court Clerk’s Office and K9 insert for the Sheriff’s Office.

Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing an inmate population totaling 193, with 166 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 27 others housed in contracted counties.

Canadian County’s inmate county has increased by four in the past week as 43 county prisoners await transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.