The Cherokee Nation's Government Complex in Tahlequah is getting taller. Construction is almost complete on the second floor of the building.
The second floor didn’t exist until recently, but Chief Bill John Baker said it was envisioned.
"It was envisioned, 20-plus years ago when they built it. And, so, this floor that we're standing on was already poured in here, and so, the cheapest square footage that we could possibly get was, just go straight on up."
Construction crews made welds to posts a stick through the roof to get the second level started.
The new floor is going to help the tribe put all of its offices and agencies under one roof.
"From here, that direction will be the Supreme Court," Baker said.
The historic Cherokee Nation Capitol, where the Supreme Court currently meets, will become a museum.
Baker said, "It's just going to be a modern, safe court system."
The tribe now reaches 330,000 citizens and operates on a $1.55 billion budget.
"We have grown exponentially, by leaps and bounds, over this last 40 years,” said Baker. “We went from two employees to almost 11,000 employees."
The new addition will help support that.
The chief said, "These are things that governments need to have to efficiently function and operate and fully exercise their sovereignty and take care of their citizenry."
Baker hopes to have the second floor open and ready to be moved in by Christmas.