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Mexican American Cultural Center site could change due to budget concerns

The Mexican Cultural Center will be built where the Abraham Chavez Theater is. (CBS4)

The Mexican American Cultural Center is slated to be built outside the Abraham Chavez theater.

The budget was $5.7 million; now it's more than $30 million.

"My problem with the proposal is the cost," City Representative Cassandra Hernandez-Brown said.

Hernandez-Brown says building the center there would require upgrades to the theater.

As CBS4 reported, new ADA improvements would have to be put into Chavez if the center goes there.

That's something people didn't vote for.

"These are two clear different projects and for that reason I think it would not be the best use of public dollars," Hernandez-Brown said.

Now, the bond committee is looking for a new location at the original price.

Hernandez-Brown says a smaller budget won't affect the plans for the center.

"You start to get the community interested on how we can get creative to maximize those dollars for $5.7(million); I think we can get pretty close."

Although, pretty close isn't all the way. Hernandez-Brown believes additional taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be needed to finish the project.

"No. I would say that if you try to do it alone as a city, you would have to find more monies,” Hernandez-Brown said.

Money that could potentially come from an outside partner. Without that money, the project could be delayed even longer.

"I'd say if the projects aren't completed by 2022 within the 10-year scope which we had envisioned in 2012 then I think we have failed,” Hernandez-Brown said.

The city is in negotiations with the Mexican American Cultural Institute to form a private-public partnership. This group would be responsible for running the center, raising donation and finding grants for additional funding.

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