Renovations moving forward on mayor's office at Armory

Keri Thornton | Daily Press

The new wall for the mayor's office at Tahlequah Municipal Armory has been put up.

Renovations are underway for a new mayor's office at the Tahlequah Municipal Armory.

In the past, the mayor's office had been at the armory shortly after the city purchased the building from the National Guard. But the original office suite has been rented to Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country.

Mayor Sue Catron said there isn't a strong reason for her to be physically present at City Hall, and the location of the new office has the potential to enhance her role.

"That building is attractive because of the easy access for the public and because of the location. It is between the park and downtown, right across from the Chamber of Commerce and only two blocks away from City Hall," said Catron.

Construction on the new office began in May after Catron was sworn in. She said after a walk-through, she looked at the mayor's office at City Hall and realized it wasn't going to work for her.

"Because I fairly regularly meet with a larger number of people, I started considering alternative space," said Catron. "There isn't a lot of unoccupied space at City Hall, so the option really was to ask staff to move."

The office that used to belong to Code Enforcement when City Hall was in the Armory is now divided by a wall that creates two offices.

The mayor plans to have her new space next to one intended for use by an economic development director - a position that has not yet been created.

Catron said the cost of renovating that office isn't putting a dent in any departmental budget, and labor is being provided by city employees. She said the idea was to renovate as cheaply as possible.

"The dividing wall has been stood and sheet-rocked by city employees using materials that were on hand from other projects. We will be using existing furniture. I am aware that a new network plug has been installed, but do not know the cost of that," she said. "It would have been paid from the managerial budget for maintenance supplies and may have also used supplies on hand."

As for the mayor's current office at City Hall, Catron believes that location is ideal for conducting private departmental business.

"The mayor's office at City Hall is at the end of a hallway, separated by some distance from the other offices, which affords it some privacy," said the mayor. "My plan for the space after I move would to keep a smaller desk or table and some chairs in the room so it could be used by the attorneys, [Human Resources], myself or others as needed."

There is no set date for the completion of renovations. However, Catron said she is fine where she is, for the time being.

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