This article originally ran in the Aug. 27, 2021 issue of the Progress Times.
The historic Roosevelt Auditorium does not have a demolition date yet, but the project is still headed in that direction. At the Aug. 11 board meeting, the Mission CISD board of trustees approved the $175,000 budget and professional services from Chanin Engineering for the Roosevelt Auditorium demolition.
In April, the school board voted in favor of demolishing the building on the Roosevelt Alternative Campus, which was first erected in the late 1920s. The auditorium was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 due to its architecture. While the campus is still standing, the auditorium has not been used for about 20 years, and it has been in a state of decline for about 15 years. The structure was finally deemed unsafe following an assessment from Hinojosa Engineering.
“A report was submitted on or about November 2020 and identified serious deficiencies in the roof and wall structural components along with flooring and foundation deterioration,” Executive Director of Maintenance Rick Rivera said. “As per the assessment, and due to these deficiencies and failures, the building does not have an adequate load-supporting system and shows numerous signs of structural distress. And in their professional opinion, it was deemed unsafe and should not be occupied until these deficiencies and failures are addressed.”
Administration gave the board the option to demolish the structure or make the needed repairs for an estimated $1.5 million. Based on campus needs and budget, the trustees opted for demolition.
“The fact of the matter is we really don’t have use for it because we don’t have parking space in that area. As it is, our staff parks by the side of the street. So really, we really couldn’t have events,” Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez said. “And the small grants that are out there to restore something that’s historical, it’s for it to become a community building or a community center. But those grants are very, very small grants.”
Because the Roosevelt Auditorium is registered as a historic building, MCISD needs to submit a request for demolition to the Texas Historical Commission. But that process begins further down the road, according to MCISD’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing Craig Verley.
The next step is requesting a proposal from the engineer and entering into a contract, then the design phase of the project begins. Following that, MCISD will go out for contractor proposals. Those proposals get ranked and voted on by the school board. When a contract is negotiated with a contractor, the actual demolition project can begin.