The Sand Springs Municipal Building, which housed the former police headquarters and old city jail, is almost unrecognizable right now as it undergoes a nearly a $1 million renovation project.
City planner Brad Bates says the goal of the project is to make city hall more functional and user friendly by putting all city services downstairs.
Construction crews have torn out all the walls and ripped out flooring in what used to be the police headquarters, city jail, municipal courtroom, city council chambers and dispatch center.
Voters approved a bond in 2013 to pay for the $870,000 remodel, but the work couldn’t begin until police headquarters moved into its new space.
In August police, dispatch, city court and the city jail began operating out of the city’s new $10.7 million Public Safety Center, paid for through a voter-approved sales tax extension.
Related Story: New Public Safety Center In Sand Springs Opens
When those departments when construction crews started working on the municipal building renovations.
Once the project is complete water billing, city planning, city clerks and administrators along with IT, HR and financing departments will work under the same roof at City Hall for the first time.
City council chambers will move down to the first floor along with all other primary city services. The area upstairs where the city council held its meetings is being turned into a conference room.
For now the old jail still has names scribbled on the walls from inmates, but eventually Bates says it will be used for storage, with an option for expansion in the future.
The city is also making the building more secure with controlled access for city employees in parts of the building that aren’t for public use.
Bates says the upgrades are needed with one part city hall built in the 1920s and then another part added on in the 80s.
"It's kind of interesting to see the old part of the building kind of getting revealed to see some of the cool, historic stuff... like the old trusses, windows and doorways that were there,” he said. “It's interesting to see the history, but also exciting to know where we're going and what it's going to be like when we're done.”
Bates says the municipal building will have a more modern look when the project wraps up sometime in February.
During the construction phase, the city asks folks to stay out of the building. Bates says those looking to pay their water bill in person can do it in the building right next to city hall.