City picks more design details for convention center

HARLINGEN — The $16.7 million convention center’s brick façade has apparently received its final makeover.

Earlier this week, city commissioners selected a light, creamy red “field” brick along with a darker red “accent” brick to adorn the 44,436-square-foot building’s exterior.

In Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners made their decision based on project architect Geoffrey Butler’s recommendation.

According to Butler, the light and dark bricks complement each other to create contrast.

“The original design intent was for the main primary field brick to be a light-warm brick with a darker compatible brick as an accent in areas,” Butler wrote to city officials.

It was the second time in two weeks the project’s developer asked commissioners to select the facades’ brick color.

“We want to get it right,” City Manager Dan Serna said. “The idea is a lighter-colored brick with darker-colored accents.”

Wednesday night’s decision reversed last month’s selection of the light, creamy brick as the only brick that would decorate the façade.

“Why do we have to pick brick anyway?” Serna asked.

In response, developer Brandon Raney, chief executive officer with BC Lynd Hospitality, apologized to commissioners for the “miscommunication” that led them to select brick for the project.

However, Raney did not elaborate on the miscommunication that led commissioners to select the brick.

Last month, commissioners also selected a light-colored mortar to add contrast to the brick façade.

Meanwhile, pre-cast stone will accent the convention center’s exterior, highlighting “eyebrows” over the building’s tall, arched windows while outlining the base of the brick walls and columns.

“We incorporated the cast-stone sills and arches to further provide character,” Butler wrote.

Last summer, commissioners selected brick over stucco to decorate the building’s façade, a choice that boosted the project’s price tag by $362,353.

But in the long run, the selection of brick over stucco will save money, Serna said.

While brick calls for little maintenance, he said, stucco requires touch ups to stand up to the South Texas heat.

The city expects to complete construction on the building late this year, Serna said.

HOW WILL IT LOOK?

Light, creamy-colored red ‘field’ brick

Darker, reddish-colored ‘accent’ brick

Light-colored mortar

Pre-cast stone