New amphitheater could be done by summer

MERCEDES — It’s taken some time, but city officials anticipate the new amphitheater will be ready by summer.

A city project that should have been completed a year ago caught criticism recently from residents because it had not been finished.

“As we speak, they’re working on it again,” said Henry Hinojosa, Mercedes mayor. “It should be done within two months.”

The cost of the amphitheater is $302,400, a price tag combined with the cost to build the library café that Pietra Construction completed.

The unique way in which the steel needed to be cut for the amphitheater posed a challenge, which delayed the project from being complete on time, according to Mercedes City Manager Richard Garcia.

Garcia said Pietra Construction has subcontracted International Metal Erector and Fabrication Service to install the roof.

According to the subcontractor, the project is expected to be completed within the next 50 days if there are no rain delays.

“It looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Hinojosa said.

The city hired Pietra Construction to build the community structure two years ago.

And after one year had passed, they reported to the city they were unable to install the roof.

It caused Pietra Construction problems in completing the project within the original timeframe of the contract last year.

Garcia said the funds to pay for the project are from a general fund tax note paid back by the general fund.

Garcia said the amphitheater will bring a cultural opportunity and serve for social and concert events.

“Yeah, they should’ve finished a year ago,” Hinojosa said.

Garcia said the company working on the amphitheater now has made significant projects in South Texas and they have been working at the site since last week.

“The roof is a very unique structure. It was custom-made and had we changed contractors. It would have taken more time to complete,” Garcia said.

“We have only paid for what has been produced,” Garcia said. “The amphitheater will not be paid for until it’s complete by the contractor.”