An historic overlay zone that has been hampering El Paso Community College’s plan to build a new medical education facility has been officially removed.
Members of the El Paso Planning Commission voted to de-designate the zone, allowing school officials to proceed with the construction of the new facility as well as a seven-story garage.
The two structures will be going up on EPCC’s Rio Grande campus in central El Paso and are part of a $225 million transformation of all of the school’s five campuses.
The project still has to receive final approval from the El Paso City Council.
According to city documents, the site in question, on the 900 block of N. Oregon Street, received the historic overlay zone designation in 1985, owing to the existence of two Queen Anne-style structures built more than a century ago.
One of those houses, on the corner of N. Oregon and Montana Avenue, is currently serving as the school’s police headquarters and is not part of EPCC’s building plans.
The other Queen Anne house was demolished in the 1990s by the school. But the fact that its footprint was within the boundaries of the overlay zone made it problematic for the construction plan to move forward.
EPCC would like to begin construction on the new classroom/lab facility, as well as the garage, later this year.
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