Work is finally starting up again on the Federal Emergency Management Agency safe room in Robstown. Back in 2013, $1.3 million was awarded to complete the project, but it is still not complete.
FEMA safe domes are all along the coast. They are multi-purpose buildings, and in Robstown's case, the 15,000 square foot dome will be used as a civic hall and a safe shelter in case of a hurricane.
"It will be called the City of Robstown Civic Hall along with the safe room," said Herman Rodriguez, Robstown city secretary.
Things hit a road bump in 2015, when contractors on the project asked for more money. However, when Rodriguez looked at the performance review, he was not happy with the work that had been done.
"After almost a year of construction, or almost a year of construction, they were 13 percent complete. Which is not a good performance for a construction company," said Rodriguez.
So that company was kicked off the project. A bigger delay came when the city had to re-allocate the money to a new contractor, and ask for an extension. The project originally needed to be done in August 2016, that has now been extended to August 2018.
The new architect the city has hired, Leland A. Gray Architect, has already built about 30 safe domes all over the nation. They say the construction should only take about 7-8 months.
"Well you know we haven't had a major storm in the Coastal Bend in a very long time, so I think we're all preparing for something big in the future and it's nice to have something like that in our backyard in case of an emergency," said Rodriguez.
The city plans to go out for new construction bids this month.