Harris County commissioners on Tuesday chose Kirksey Architecture to design a project to retrofit the Astrodome by raising its floor and installing parking spaces underneath.
Commissioners designated the Houston-based firm as their top pick to conduct the architecture and engineering on the $105 million renovation of the Dome, a sweeping project that could secure the stadium’s future by using it for event or commercial space.
County Judge and vocal proponent Ed Emmett said Kirksey’s selection was “one more step toward re-purposing the Dome.”
“This is doing the engineering, moving the whole process forward,” Emmett said.
The architecture and engineering – the first phase of the overall renovation project – is expected to cost around $10.5 million and take roughly a year. Kirksey Architecture still has to be awarded the final contract, which will finalize the cost of the first phase. County officials said that vote could come in January.
Kirksey Architecture has designed many commercial, residential and public properties around Houston, including the YMCA building downtown and the 26-story luxury Belfiore Condominiums in Uptown.
The firm has also done work for Harris County, including the restoration of the historic Sylvan Beach Building in La Porte that was damaged by Hurricane Ike.
See here for some background. A lot of people are skeptical of this project. It seems reasonable to me, but you do have to wonder why it took so long to get to it. Easy to say in retrospect, I suppose. I look forward to seeing what the official designs eventually look like.