Austin: Parks & Rec Set to Procure CMAR for Mexic-Arte Museum Renovation
Feature Photo: A view of the Mexic-Arte Museum as it currently stands as city looks for a CMAR to renovate the 110-year-old structure in March. Image: Google Streets.
by Art Benavidez
Austin (Travis County) — The long-awaited renovations for the city’s Mexic-Arte Museum could finally be coming to fruition as two major City of Austin capital construction projects are set to be advertised in March.
One of those projects involves the museum as the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is set to issue a procurement for a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for the improvements to the museum.
In 2018, the City Council approved an additional $15 million for the rehabilitation of the Mexic-Arte Museum from 2018 voter-approved bonds, bringing the total of available funding to $20 million.
Under the arrangement between the city and Mexic-Arte, the museum is required to raise $3.5 million in addition to the bond funding. The estimated project cost of the renovation is $12 million.
In June of 2020, City Council approved the resolution to use the CMAR method.
A CMR firm will be selected by a city-staffed evaluation panel that will evaluate and score proposals based on published evaluation criteria to determine the highest ranked proposer, along with providing the “best value” to the city for services, according to city documents.
The resolution noted that the estimated budget for the entire project was $20 million and anticipated construction would commence in April of 2023, with the solicitation and evaluation process taking up to 12 months.
Two floors above the museum can not be utilized for exhibits without repairs. Constructed in 1910, the three-story building has a total area of 22,080 square feet, with each floor being 7,360 square feet. The Mexic-Arte Museum acquired the building in 2001, according to county property records.
A city memo released in February 2018 detailed how the upper floor is condemned, city codes are not met and any renovation moving forward will potentially need asbestos abatement due to the age of the building.
Mexic-Arte Museum Executive Director Sylvia Orozcotold KXAN in 2018 that the building’s plumbing, electrical and structural systems were in dire need of repair.
“We have to bring in everything new,” she said. “There is 18,000 square feet of under-utilized space in downtown Austin and that probably is considered a sin nowadays because of the need for space.”
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.