Work to begin construction on the Children’s Museum – a 2012 Signature Bond project – is underway with the start of demolition of the Greyhound Lines, Inc. maintenance facility of in downtown El Paso.
The facility is being demolished by Greyhound as part of a purchase agreement with the City of El Paso to make way for the Children’s Museum. City Council earlier this year approved purchasing the maintenance facility at 201 W. Main St. at a price of $1.27 million plus the cost of demolition of the existing building and remediation of the site including removal of the underground storage tanks.
Construction on the museum is expected to begin in 2018; the design phase for the project will begin in 2017.
“We are excited to continue to see the dramatic transformation of El Paso with the addition of a new Children’s Museum. We want to give our community a world-class facility that will become a community gathering place for children and families that will be enjoyed for generations to come,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said.
The land purchase will allow the museum to be located in the El Paso Downtown Arts District; strategically sited between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Museum of History.
A report by HKS Inc., a consulting firm hired by the City in 2013 to identify potential sites in the Downtown area for its three signature bond projects, recommended incorporating the Children’s Museum into downtown’s cultural and arts area.
The site selected for the Children’s Museum enhances the El Paso Downtown Arts District and complements the City’s cultural programming while serving as a key year-round tourism and economic development asset for our community.
“The fulfillment of this 2012 bond project will help us become a more vibrant place for learning and inspiring our youth. Through a new Children’s Museum we will create greater recreational, educational and cultural opportunities for El Paso that will provide our residents and visitors with experiences not afforded to them locally today,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.
The agreement with Greyhound includes having Greyhound make a substantial “first contribution” and challenge grant to the Children’s Museum, which was underfunded when the bond program was sent to voters in 2012. Voters in 2012 approved $473.2 million bond projects.
The land purchase was approved along with a 10-year lease agreement with Greyhound for approximately 16,000 square feet of Sun Metro’s facility, at 700 San Francisco, at a cost of $114,409 per year for its maintenance operations.
Advancing the 2012 bond projects is part of the City’s strategic plan to enhance El Paso’s quality of life through the creation of innovative recreational, educational and cultural programs.