OKLAHOMA CITY - Construction on the new municipal building started today.
It's a $22.8 million facility passed through a 2007 bond issue.
It’s been eight years in the making, and it’s finally coming to fruition.
"While these were state of the art at the time that they were designed, we've outgrown them and they've pretty much outgrown their usefulness," M.T. Berry, Assistant City Manager for Oklahoma City said.
Once complete, it will be a 65,000 square foot, three-story facility that will house six courtrooms, judges' chambers and other administrative offices.
City leaders say this building is greatly needed to replace the current building, which is more than 50 years old.
"We had some issues with them. The heating plant, roofs, typical things you would have in a structure this old," Berry said.
Mayor Mick Cornett also sees this is as an extension of the revitalization already happening west of downtown.
"A new police station, a number of new restaurants and businesses that are opening and now a new court's building continuing to come. This is a great infill project,” Cornett said.
Voters passed a $41,200,000 bond issue in 2007 to pay for the court's building and police headquarters that will be just south of its current location.
"Our mechanicals are now state of the art. We'll have conference rooms where we can have public meetings and so this new building has been designed to take us down the road you know 30, 40 or 50 years,” Deputy Chief for OKCPD, Tom Jester said.
That means creating a safer environment for the Oklahoma City Police force.
"There will be bullet resistant glazing that's used and also there will be a separation from the public use and the private use,” Jester said.
The police headquarters will open in October and once the municipal building is complete, the old buildings will be destroyed to make room for a parking plaza.
"To make sure we have enough space so it will accommodate our growth as a city because we are growing,” Berry said.
The Municipal Courts Building is scheduled to be complete in 2017.