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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 20:31
EL PASO — The tenth floor of El Paso City Hall looks like a doomed place, which indeed it is. The date for the building's implosion is April 14.
On a varying schedule, all city departments are leaving the building, in order to occupy space on the opposite end of downtown, inside one of the city's three recently purchased properties. Today, Mayor Cook and all City Council representatives were to have all material boxed for the moving company to pick up by 4 pm.
As City Hall empties, some employees have taken license with the interior. Graffiti marks the walls. Some windows are broken. And possibly in a ceremonial goodbye to the building, staffers say that representatives Steve Ortega and Susie Byrd took turns with a sledge hammer, driving about a dozen holes in one wall of her now-abandoned office.
City rep Emma Acosta spent time at her window, which has long afforded a beautiful view of downtown. To look ten stories straight below, she can see the space that the new baseball stadium will occupy. Acosta is at least mildly sentimental, having worked in the building when it was first placed into service in the late 1970s. For a time she left city government, later to return and win a seat on council. Acosta says it will be sad to see the building come down, but agrees the move across town, and the stadium construction, can be called progress.