Exterior portions of Astrodome to be demolished

The historic Astrodome has been sitting dormant for years.
October 4, 2013 4:04:37 PM PDT
The voters have not yet spoken, but work is already set to begin on transforming the Astrodome next week. The question remains: will the dome be upgraded, or leveled?

"Save the Dome" cupcake toppers are being sold in a Houston cupcake shop. Yes, the controversy over the Houston Astrodome has even reached cupcake status.

"I think we should still keep it. It's a part of our history," Houstonian Gabby Anzora said.

"I think we've already poured enough money into it. I don't think we need to be paying anything else," Houstonian Gilbert Cardenas said.

On November 5, Harris County voters will decide on a $217 million bond proposal to renovate the building, turning it into an event center. If the bond passes, the average Harris County homeowner will see an $8 per year increase in taxes. If it doesn't pass, the dome could be torn down.

But even before you head to the polls, demolition is already getting started.

On Monday, crews will begin an $8 million project to tear down parts of the dome, like old columns, ticket booths and turnstiles.

"They would need to come down if we repurpose the dome, and of course they would need to come down if the dome were to be demolished," County Judge Ed Emmett said. "This is just us spending money to maintain Reliant Park."

But some question the timing. The building has been crumbling for years, so why not wait until after the election?

"The question is, how do you read it? We're already stopping the repurposing or we're already starting the demolition?" Emmett said.

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