CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you are new to the area, The Water Garden, located between the American Bank Center and the Art Museum, may just seem like a broken down fountain with a grassy field, but locals and longtime visitors may remember it back in it's functional glory.
The price to repair it seems to be going up though, as it's now nearly double what was expected just a year ago. The company that was hired to design and do the work, Fulton Construction, found numerous unexpected problems, like cracked pipes and damaged electrical but also saw an increase in costs due to inflation.
It's a price some at the city are willing to pay though.
"It's a quality of life amenity but it's also one that will help to continue the revitalization that's happening in that area," said Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni.
"Citizens of Corpus Christi want their Water Gardens back, and that is something that we have heard consistently. It's like I said, it's a historical asset to the city," said Mayor Paulette Guarjado.
The Water Garden is an attraction that has laid dormant for over 5 years, after Hurricane Harvey damaged its underground mechanical and electrical systems.
Four years ago, the estimated cost to repair was $288,000.
Last year the council began moving toward rebuilding with an estimated cost of $4.5 million dollars. Now estimates are just under $8 million.
But, with no tangible return on investment, the increased price tag, and a yearly maintenance estimation of over $320,000 it's also a far cry from what city council members originally though it was going to cost.
"Through many discussions the idea is to take all of the pumps and equipment underground and put it above ground, so when you add all that into it, it creates a real expensive proposition," said Gil Hernandez, Corpus Christi City Councilor for District 5.
City council is set to vote on the future of the Water Gardens, which includes allocating the additional $3.5 million to the project tomorrow.