The announcement was probably as welcome to Houstonians as a stay of Execution. Instead of demolition, the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation recommended repurposing and renovating the Dome..
"It's going to look different both inside and outside." Said Edgardo Colon.
Among the changes, they will rip out all the seats and raise the floor to street level... making the inside a 350-thousand square foot column-free space. They say it's ideal for large conventions like the offshore technology conference. They will install energy efficient building systems and use green technology like solar panels. There will be some glass on the sides to let in light.
On the outside they will tear down the ramp columns and remove the berms and ticket buildings and spruce up the exterior. There will be restaurants and concessions around the base and a green space around the perimeter. Price tag? 194 million dollars.
19 proposals got serious consideration, including one from U f H grad student Ryan Slattery who wanted to turn it into a park..
"They decided on a project that will generate revenue. We focused on quality of life." he shrugged.
The vision they settled on is to turn the dome into a multi-use facility. County Judge Ed Emmet likes this new vision.
"I think this concept is outstanding because it takes an asset that belongs to the county taxpayers and repurposes it so it really benefits not just the dome but all of reliant park.. it will make us the event capital of the world."
But he's quick to point out not the only one who gets to decide. .
"I'm just one vote.. I'm the county judge but there are four county commissioners and our votes are all the same."
The Commissioners will discuss the proposal on June 25th. One big thing left unsettled is how to pay for it.