Oak Cliff People: Contractors Group Buys Former Library

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Contractors Group Buys Former Library
Hampton Road site was leased by organization

By Margaux Anbouba

For the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association, Oct. 3 was a day for cake and celebration. After renting the former Hampton-Illinois Library building for five years, the organization officially purchased it for $192,937.50.

The building was vacated after a new library facility was completed in 2006, said Bonnie Meeder, assistant director in the city's Sustainable Development and Construction Department. The contractors association began leasing the property in 2008.

"[The city] issued a request for proposals for the lease with option to purchase the building," Meeder said. "Part of the requirements of the lease with option to purchase was that they would make improvements to the building. A lot of what [the contractors association] did was through in-kind with their association members."

Some of these improvements include updating the carpeting, roof, and bathroom facilities.

"We are really proud to be part of Oak Cliff," said John Martinez, president of the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association. "We wanted to be part of an area that had growth and potential."

The contractors association provides invaluable training for contractors in Dallas. But don't think it's limited only to Hispanic contractors — thought they are the majority of members, there are people of all races in the association.

"Texas is the region with the highest fatalities and injuries that [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] has in the country," Martinez said. "The role that we help to play in the industry for the small- or medium-sized construction company is critical for safety."

While they did celebrate on the day the purchase documents were signed, a larger celebration is planned for the holiday season.

"There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into getting this done," Martinez said. "This took a lot of effort from our members as well as the city, at all levels, and we are very happy."