Moving day in El Paso City Hall

El Paso Parks and Recreation Department marks last day downtown

EL PASO, Texas - Thursday is moving day for the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department.

The 25 staff members based in City Hall spent the day packing boxes with files, paperwork, and personal memorabilia, getting everything ready for the movers who are taking everything to their new, temporary location in the Pat O'Rourke Center at 901 North Virginia Street in Central El Paso.

"It's going to be a little different," said Wayne Thornton, the department's marketing director. "Because if you wanted something from Engineering, you catch the elevator. If you want something from Planning, you just go downstairs."

Parks and Rec is one of the first large, publicly accessible departments to vacate City Hall in anticipation of the building's demolition, slated for the spring.

The other departments will soon follow, headed to locations scattered around town.

The demolition of City Hall will make way for the Triple A baseball park, which is slated to be ready by the 2014 season's Opening Day in April.

Parks and Rec has been downtown since shortly after City Hall opened in 1979. Thornton has spent most of his 35 years with Parks and Rec in other satellite offices, relocating to City Hall several years back. But he told ABC-7 that he's grown attached to the location, the view of downtown El Paso from his office, and the memories that are attached to the building itself.

"It's a sad day. But it's another chapter. It's like walking away from mom and dad and going off to college," he said.

Parks and Rec will be open for business at its new location at 901 N. Virginia on Monday.

For a list of the upcoming moves out of City Hall, click here.

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