On Wednesday, workers with the City of El Paso began installing fencing to secure the Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) footprint in order to begin the next phase of the archaeological study and to replace the temporary fencing that is currently onsite.
“This voter-approved MPC is advancing into the second phase of the archaeological study which involves opening trenches. Thus securing the site with durable fencing is a necessary step to preserve the health and safety of the community,” Capital Improvement Department Director Sam Rodriguez said.
Via a news release, city officials said, “the judgment issued in August 2017 by an Austin judge allowed the City to build the MPC at its proposed downtown location. The City has agreed not to begin demolition prior to November 19, 2018. An official date for demolition has not been set.”
Preservationist Max Grossman responded to the development via an email.
“The City of El Paso is surrounding Duranguito with a new barrier. They are permitted to do so per my Rule 11 agreement with the City as long as the buildings are not touched before November 19. My attorneys are very busy preparing for relief from the courts before that date and we are confident that the neighborhood will be safe…”
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has approved the scope of work proposed by City of El Paso for an on-site archeological and historical review of city-owned properties project’s master planning area.
Moore Archeological Consulting, a firm specializing in completing archeological investigations in urban settings, is conducting the archeological study. The City contracted the firm to comply with the applicable requirements under state law.
The archeological study encompasses four phases: archival and historical research (completed), ground-penetrating radar survey, mechanical survey, and an additional investigations stage, which would only be conducted if intact archeological deposits are discovered.
Discoveries will be handled in accordance with state law and Antiquities Permit requirements.