How many improvements does EP city hall really need?

EL PASO, Texas - The City of El Paso's Engineering Department released a cost estimate document last month recommending about $30 million worth of improvements. ABC-7 examined the items on the list and asked City Engineer Alan Shubert about them.

"What you have is a building that was built 30 years ago with 30 years of deferred maintenance," said Shubert.

The building is scheduled to be demolished to make way for an upcoming baseball park downtown.

Some have questioned the decision to  knock down a functional city hall only to have to build a new one later down the road. 

However, Shubert told ABC-7 the building has needed repairs for years.

The $30 million estimate from his department was generated before city council approved the plan to demolish city hall and replace it with the ballpark.

Officials estimate it would cost nearly as much to build a new city hall, 30-35 million, as it would to repair the current one.

According to Shubert, the high cost of repairs is a result of the buildng's age, as well as improvements needed to make the building more energy efficent. He said $12 million are needed for basic improvements to make the building "habitable" and another $18 million in "green" improvements to bring City Hall up to current city codes for new buildings.

Other items that would be included involve replacing pipes, as well as the building's entire 1,568 windows. Shubert said that the current windows are not sealed correctly and this has led to wind and water entering the building

The elevators, according to Shubert, need to have their motors and controls replaced. However, earlier this month the mayor stated that work had already been done to the elevators. 

Officials say that they have already spent $12 million over the past ten years into repairing the building, including replacing the roof. Shubert said the money spent has not been enough to bring the building up to code. 


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