Lincoln Center demolition may be delayed 60 days

Lincoln Center demolition may be delayed 60 days
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 6:41pm

The demolition of El Paso's historic Lincoln Center could be delayed, but perhaps not for long.

State Rep. Joe Pickett talked with Texas Dept. of Transportation executives Thursday morning by phone, after learning of their plans to demolish the building, which once house minority students in the 1900's.

Pickett says he was shocked to learn TXDOT notified State Sen. Jose Rodriguez May 6 of their intent to demolish the historic building in a matter of weeks, but just four days earlier, had told city and area representatives they were willing to listen to plans and ideas to find a local government willing to put in the funding to save the center.

In that letter, TXDOT said the Lincoln Center was a safety hazard, and needed to be demolished.

Pickett tells NewsChannel 9 he also learned of a new concern Thursday from TXDOT: the building, even if saved, would be in harm's way when they build a highway connector nearby.

They all agreed to reach out to local governments one last time.

"We can't keep dragging this on," said Pickett. "Whatever happens, it needs to be settled."

Pickett believes he may have only saved the Lincoln Center another 60 days.

That's what he recommended TXDOT leaders wait for any government entity to come forward to pick up the tab.

It's unknown if they're willing to delay demolition that long.

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