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Ector Theater Renovations Double in Cost

City is looking at different options to lower the amount.

ODESSA,Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - City officials had given the architect working on the renovation, a 5 million dollar budget. They were surprised when the estimated cost for full restoration came back double the original amount. 

Lawanna Lambert, Executive Director of Downtown Odessa, says there are many reasons the budget amount could have increased, but the city is looking at options to lower the cost back to the original price. The city is still committed to seeing the restoration through. 

"The architect that we're working with was given a budget from the city and he came in well over budget. So the city is committed to the project. Now it's just going back to the drawing board and figuring out how to get the budget back down to where it needs to be " Lambert said. 

Some Odessa residents were surprised by the spike as well. A retired teacher, and Odessa resident said big renovations already happened during the 80's. The $300,000 project reportedly took care of the Ector Theater's asbestos problem as well as infrastructure issues. Unlike the Scott theater, located about a block away, the Ector Theater had enough renovations done to ultimately save it in the future. 

"It had gotten sort of run down and Roy Elsner headed up a committee and they raised the money to renovate this place the first time in the 80's " Michael Perrin said. 

Event though Perrin is excited for the Ector Theater to be restored to its former glory, he was surprised at the cost.

"...I don't understand why that would cost 10 million when you can have a seven story hotel, the convention center, and a four story parking garage right next door just forty million..." he said. 

City Council met Wednesday night and discussed the future of the Ector Theater. Although there was speculation the building would be torn down, downtown development crews say the restoration will be completed. 

The city plans to look into different ways the budget can be brought back down to the original price. The new convention center is still set to open in 2019. 


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