Lawton City Council approves $7M bidding process on renovations to McMahon Auditorium

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 10:14 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Lawton City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to start the bidding process to renovate the McMahon Auditorium. It’s expected to cost $7 million.

“I think the preservation of our historic buildings is chiefly important. I mean it’s one of those things where it was such a gift of philanthropy by miss McMahon and the McMahon Foundation to give this gift to the City of Lawton, that the City of Lawton has a responsibility to maintain it and approve it,” Max Sasseen said. Sasseen works for the McMahon Auditorium Authority.

This project will be funded through the Lawton Capital Improvement Plan Propel funding.

There was another unanimous vote by City Council to allow the McMahon Auditorium Authority to oversee the Carnegie Library and the National Guard Armory.

“What we don’t have in Lawton is such a caretaker for the two buildings on the national historical register. One which is the Carnegie Library Town Hall and the second is the National Guard Armory,” Sasseen said.

He said the McMahon Auditorium Authority will be the perfect landlord for these buildings because both properties have a mission of Arts and Humanities.

“The Carnegie Library Town Hall should be a great place for the citizen programs, education, and education on the arts, and we should have things there that have to do with humanities. The same thing with the Armory, we have grand plans to include the Lawton Community theatre,” Sasseen said.

Sasseen said with these buildings being recognized on the national historical register, they need proper maintenance.

“Us taking over as property manager for these two buildings is not the end result in its the beginning. It’s that there is going to be a lot of hard work and effort put into restoring these buildings and taking them back to their usable condition,” Sasseen said.

Sasseen said the transfer project to take over the Carnegie Library and the Armory is estimated to cost $350,000.