El Paso City Council approves controversial Mexican American Cultural Center location at Library

El Paso News
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The El Paso City Council approved a decision on where to build the Mexican American Cultural Center at the Main Library in Downtown on Tuesday.

It passed 7 to 1, with Annello voting against the motion.

The decision was made after close to two hours of public comment, mostly from El Paso residents rejecting the proposed plan.

The proposed plan would have the cultural center built within the 47,000 square feet of the library addition built in 2008, adjacent to Cleveland Square. The older portion of the library would not be affected, according to city officials.

Opponents of the plan were against it for various reasons. Some felt the location wouldn’t do justice to the project. Others felt that it was taking away from the library extension, which is 10 years old and was approved with the 2000 bond. Others also believed that the city was taking too many shortcuts.

City Rep. Peter Svarbein had asked for the decision to be postponed by two weeks since members of the community felt they were left out of the decision. However, his motion failed when only he and city Rep. Alexsandra Annello vote for that.

Last week, a group of protesters stormed a city public meeting on the center, demanding another location like the Abraham Chavez Theatre.

City officials have said it would cost about $15 million to build the cultural center at the library versus roughly $40 million at the aging Abraham Chavez which is need of renovations.

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