Payne County Administration Building Exterior

Payne County Courthouse & Expansions

Stillwater, Oklahoma


In need of expansion, Payne County, Oklahoma engaged BKL to crafter a master plan for the expansion of its administrative and judicial facilities which were all housed in the county’s historic courthouse building.

BKL’s design team documented the needs of all county agencies (including the sheriff’s department and jail) to create a master plan for the expansion of the existing courthouse and administrative facilities. The result was a five-phase plan that included the construction of a new administration building, renovation of the historic courthouse and construction of a new county jail.

Five-Step Details

Phase 1: Jail Annex
Located in the courthouse basement, the existing county jail was overcrowded and faced imminent closure by the state fire marshal.

To address the immediate need, the county purchased a metal Quonset hut structure a block from the courthouse and BKL designed a temporary 38-bed secure jail inside this superstructure. This solved the immediate need and provided time for the county to construct a new 300-bed jail.

Phase 2: Administration Building
The master plan called for the separation of county operations into two buildings based on their function group: administrative agency or court-related operations.

To accomplish this, BKL designed new county administration building to consolidate the offices of the county clerk, treasurer, assessor, extension service and election board, as well as the commissioner’s meeting room. Offices initially occupied the first two floors of the three-story building. The third floor is designed for expansion to accommodate the growth of county services in the long term.

Phase 3: Courthouse Remodel
The relocation of the county’s administrative functions to the new administration building created space in the courthouse to renovate or expand facilities for the county court (bringing the total number of courtrooms and judicial chambers to five), court clerk, district attorney and sheriff’s offices.

The courthouse was fitted with new HVAC and electrical systems throughout the building. The exterior received a complete facelift with a new roof, new windows and thorough cleaning and repointing of the masonry. A fire suppression system was discreetly installed to protect all interior spaces. All work was conducted to keep the courthouse in operation during construction.

Phase 4: Jail
To keep the safety and convenience benefits of having the jail and court facilities on the same site, BKL designed a five-story, 280-bed jail attached to the existing courthouse. The new facility allows inmates to be transported from the jail into a holding area in the courthouse, then directly into courtrooms without entering unsecure public spaces.

Phase 5: Courthouse Basement Renovations
The former jail space in the courthouse basement was renovated to provide additional space for the sheriff’s office and includes dispatch, offices, training rooms and the armory.

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