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County discloses former downtown H-E-B renovation costs

Webb County is finding ways to save money on the renovations for the former H-E-B building in downtown Laredo.
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Webb County is finding ways to save money on the renovations for the former H-E-B building in downtown Laredo.

The location will soon serve as the headquarters for the Sheriff’s Office.

$4.4 million: that’s how much bond money Webb County has to work with for the renovation of the former H-E-B building in downtown Laredo.

However, the projected cost of construction is well over budget... $2 million to be exact.

On Monday morning, commissioners court met with the project’s architect, Able City, to nail down cost saving alternatives.

Architect Rick Solis provided some ways to knock off the price.

“We were able to locate some savings in the electrical costs, HVAC, plumbing.”

Additional cost savings included reducing ceiling heights and some other things that Solis says have a dramatic impact to the project, but were necessary due to budgeting.

“The major one is obviously the finish out of the second floor, that was going to be kind of a conference room. We did meet with Chief Landin to potentially converting the second floor into an EOC. After those meetings we did decide that should probably be a separate project.”

With these changes and a few more, they were able to reduce the cost to $5.7 million, a price point that is still a million dollars over budget.

”The original intent of this building was to be kind of an open cubicle, but when we went into offices it really blew our budget,” said John Galo.

Other ways to save is by using stimulus money to purchase back-up generators rather than money from the budget.

Commissioners court’s final motion was to approve negotiations.

It’s still a long way before the vacant building will open it’s doors once again.

Webb County purchased the former H-E-B buildings back in 2018 for roughly $4 million.

The money being used from the project comes from the 2019 bond series.

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