City awards Mexican-American cultural center and library improves construction offering

On Monday, El Paso city council approved the construction of the Mexican-American Cultural Center (MACC).

“As a service-oriented organization, investing in the customer experience is essential to us and achievable through our strategic policies and sound financial and investment planning,” said Sam Rodriguez, Director of Operations and transport. “Our downtown arts district will undergo dramatic changes as we are able to leverage our resources to support the amenities that our community has told us they want to see when we open the doors to this dynamic new co-located public space. by the MACC and the main library. “

The main library will also see improvements to the customer experience and incorporate additional design ideas submitted by the public, which will be complemented by additional savings from existing resources to respond to public feedback.

The MACC is the only bond project of 2012 that included an established subcommittee of citizens appointed by the Council to foster deeper public engagement, develop community-based programs and site recommendations. The extensive public awareness campaign for this project started in 2015.

Construction on both projects will begin this fall and should be completed by summer 2023. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in 2020 and has been postponed to allow the City to navigate the global financial uncertainty caused by the early stages of construction. COVID-19. pandemic. The co-location of the MACC and the main library was approved by the city council in 2018.

The MACC will be dedicated to preserving and celebrating the unique culture and history of Mexican-American El Paso.

Among the dedicated pieces paying homage to this story will be “The Insurmountable Task”, a memorial that honors the courageous sacrifice of the men of Company E, the only Mexican-American infantry unit that fought in World War II. . The group consisted of 250 soldiers from all over Texas, including 124 from El Paso.

When completed, the MACC will include equipment and programmatic spaces that will provide opportunities for creative production in all disciplines, including exhibition and performance spaces, a black box theater, a state-of-the-art auditorium, classrooms, dance studios, broadcast and recording studios, culinary programs, artist-in-residence studios, a rooftop lounge and much more.

Scheduled upgrades to the main library will ensure that all current services and facilities are maintained or enhanced. Once renovated, the main library will continue to serve visitors with traditional and modern library services such as story hours, computer access, study spaces, research support, teen programs and more. .

The renovation will include a restructuring of the interior of the library to more efficiently use the 60,000 square feet of space in the downtown branch. The exterior portion of the building will feature entrance enhancements designed to have a strong visual impact on visitors to the branch.

City officials add that the increased scope of the project includes the renovation of Cleveland Square Park, located next to the main library, to include an amphitheater, specialized equipment for programming, as well as an improved entrance and new staircase for the main library, a new walkway in the new children’s area in Teen Town, and new furniture as part of the renovation.

The board granted the at-risk construction manager the deal with a guaranteed maximum price of $ 22.5 million to El Paso-based Sundt Construction.

The deal will be funded by the 2012 voter-approved bond program, the 2019 capital plan, and the reallocation of approximately $ 7.3 million in combined savings from investment projects and interest from investment generated by strategic financial management practices.

For more information on the Mexican American Cultural Center, click here; for our ongoing coverage of the Mexican American Cultural Center, click here.

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