Group seeks Lincoln Center re-opening
EL PASO (KTSM) — Some El Paso residents are continuing the effort of preserving and restoring the Lincoln Community Center this time organizing a petition directed to the Texas Department of Transportation, Lincoln community center was closed in 2006 after the city of El Paso determined the conditions of the Building were unsafe, now the group is optimistic this time about a possible reopening.
"the findings have always been the same we have never found any mold or any water damage that has been extensive enough to where the building should be closed permanently" Lincoln parks conservation committee member Clavo Martinez said.
"In 2006 we had floods there was the city claimed there was a lot of water damage if you look at the footage and pictures there's really not that much damage" City Representative Eddie Holguin said.
The Lincoln preservation community group affirms that an attempt to repair the building was never initiated by the city, this organization hired an environmentalist to do a report on the building condition, this report signed by Doctor Mariana Chew indicates that
"There was no mold present at that time, none of the recommendations by previous reports were followed" the report said.
"I think the city has other priorities only downtown seems to be a priority for the past administration, hopefully with the new administration things will change" Holguin added.
In addition the city returned the right of the property to the department of transportation after a failed demolition attempt, that’s why a petition has started asking TXDOT to allow the center to re-open.
"The petition is to show this to Fill Wilson the director TXDOT in Austin Texas that there is a large community support is not just individual groups that are there stirring to save the building" Lincoln parks conservation committee president Hector Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzalez, there are several steps the group needs to complete to achieve their goal.
"We've Negotiated compromise for many of the requirements and the last sticking point is that they are requiring that we join forces with a governmental entity we have identified that entity and are currently awaiting an extension on the deadline" he concluded.
This group has received the support of political leaders such as Senator Jose Rodriguez and Representative Mary Gonzalez.