EL PASO, Texas - Less than a year away from Opening Day, construction is officially underway on El Paso's new $50 million Triple-A Downtown Ballpark.
It's only been 10 days since City Hall came down and although the massive debris pile has yet to be completely removed from the site, with only 11 months left to build the Ballpark, construction has already begun.
"We started working on the retaining walls this week," said Ballpark Project Engineer Alan Shubert.
The first phase of building the Ballpark was to dig ditches along Durango Street and Missouri Street for retaining walls. ABC-7 crews spotted workers at the site on Wednesday welding together steel beams that will become part of those retaining walls.
"They're working in some areas where there isn't debris," Shubert said. "The building fell almost in its own footprint, which is very fortunate. So there's a lot of areas they can work and they're starting."
David Bower of Populous is the architect for El Paso's Ballpark.
"You should see very soon some of the work already happening with the piers going in place for the foundations," Bower said. "We are wrapping up the architectural design. We should have that done and complete by May 17, so we are in the final stages with the design. People driving by will start to see the foundation. Certainly the excitement of the steel coming up out of the ground will be the next stop and that's when people really start to get juiced up."
Bower said El Paso's Ballpark will be quite unique.
"This ballpark will be like no other," he said. "It's a very, very intimate site. It's a landmark for the City of El Paso and people should be excited."
When asked whether he'd ever built a ballpark so quickly he laughed and said: "Uh, no. There actually will be a lot of tense times. The size of the ballpark and with this time frame you're going to need the best personnel and I think the City of El Paso has been good about getting them on hand. We'll be up there celebrating with the rest of you guys on opening day."