News Column

El Paso officials to host more public input meetings

June 18, 2014

By Luis Carlos Lopez, El Paso Times, Texas



June 18--City officials are scheduling additional community design and workshop meetings to generate interest and engagement in projects approved by the 2012 quality-of-life bond.

The city of El Paso will host two meetings June 24 and 25 to discuss construction planning of three projects -- an arena, a multi-cultural center and a children's museum.

"These three projects are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to celebrate who we are and to improve our quality of life and competitive position relative to other cities with similar attractions and amenities," Destination El Paso General Manager Bryan Crowe said in a statement. "By gathering more public input, we'll be better able to ensure these projects have the maximum positive impact on El Paso's future."

The city's Engineering and Construction Management Department spokesman, Martin Bartlett, said that there have been three previous meetings on the projects. The next meeting is Saturday, May 21.

Attendance for these has ranged from 30 to about 90 people, Bartlett said. He said the meetings next week are meant to seek out more community involvement.

The arena, museum and multi-cultural center received 71 percent approval during the November 2012 quality-of-life bond election.

The cultural center would cost $5.8 million. Construction for the museum is priced at $19.3 million and the arena would costs $180 million to build.

HKS Inc., is the architectural and engineering firm hired to developed master plans for the projects. Construction will not begin until after 2015.

"I understand we've had great participation. Staff has reported great attendance and superior feedback," said city Rep. Cortney Niland. "I'm very happy with the process thus far. Community participation is very important and I appreciate citizens taking time to participate in the process."

Luis Carlos Lopez may be reached at 546-6381.

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(c)2014 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

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Source: El Paso Times (TX)