I got the chance to check out the downtown library Monday morning and find out what is going on with it and the downtown library.

There are groups opposed to the MACC being housed in the library because they say their "cultura" will be disrespected. That is nonsense. If the MACC was put in the Abraham Chavez Theater, as the Mexican America Cultural Institute wanted, they would have approximately 21,000 sq. ft. to house exhibits. If it is put in the downtown library, there will be 47,000 sq. ft. of usable space. There will be classrooms, a kitchen for demonstrating indigenous cooking, art space, theater space, the entire El Paso Times archive, and the ability to incorporate exhibits and materials that are already housed at the library. MACI says they City should have given them more notice about their plans for the library, but City officials announced their intention to put it in the library and even held public meetings about the proposed space.

There are some groups who are afraid that children's spaces at the library will be lost, or other programs and amenities will be done away with to accommodate the MACC. That is not true. All the current spaces for kids, research, and amenities will remain at the library. They are working on redesigning the space to maximize library and MACC space.

I don't understand why the MACI is so intent on spending $40 million they can't raise, but by doubling the space that can be used by a MACC for half the cost, doesn't it make sense to use the downtown library as a learning space about the past and the future?

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