EL PASO — The city of El Paso has already purchased the El Paso Times newspaper building at 300 North Campbell. And for three weeks now, visitors in the lobby have heard the saws, hammers and sanding machines above them on the second floor.
Today we got a walking tour of the rooms that will include the mayor's office and city rep offices, as well as new headquarters for some other city departments.
Council today completed a purchase order for another 649-thousand dollars, part of the 2.2 million to complete the second floor and ground floor. That 2.2 million does not include the price of the actual council chamber, which also goes on the ground floor.
City Manager Joyce Wilson tells us, "It's really cosmetic.. but I would say a little more than cosmetic..We have to retrofit the interior for our purposes. This (the Times building) is the administrative center, it's the executive center and the council chamber is there so we have to put in all the technology that's associated with that."
The gutted second floor of the Times building should be fully remodeled just 13 days from now, then the ground floor work begins. Tthe whole renovation should be complete by march, plenty of time for council to move in and conduct the city's business. If there's a construction delay, th4e city's relocation committee told us today it may be necessary for council to meet temporarily in the main library downtown. Council needs to leave its building this spring. That building, which has srved coity council since the 1970's, is marked for demolition as the downtoewn baseball stadium construction begins..