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Sneak peek at the newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza

The public won’t get its first look at the new San Jacinto Plaza until this weekend, but ABC-7 was invited for a sneak peek of the park on Thursday afternoon.

It’s taken about three years to get to this point, a lot longer than perhaps anyone expected. It will be up to the public when it sees the plaza for the first timethis weekend whether it was worth that long wait or not.

Among the many amenities in the new park are water fountains for not only people, but dogs as well. There is also 100-percent more grass than the previous plaza and 140 trees total, according to City of El Paso project manager Gilbert Guerrero, a hundred more than before.

The plaza also features Ping-Pong tables, a horseshoe pit and a splash pad for the kids.The centerpiece is the refurbished Los Legartos statue, surrounded by a new reflecting pool and the massive canopy, which will light up at night.

ABC-7 asked Guerrero about all the project delays and multiple change orders that delayed the process.

“They were supposed to finish at the end of June last year, so they were nine months behind schedule,” Guerrero said. “There was a total of 12 change orders. I’ve got one that we got pending. It’s a small change order. So there should be a total of about 13 changes orders.”

That’s important because the company that built the plaza, Basic IDIQ, was being fined $1,000 a day by the City for every day past the June deadline of last year. But those change orders could come into play when it comes to those fines. The project manager told ABC-7 it will be a couple of weeks before the total fine is calculated.

Guerrero said he is very proud of the completed product, which will be on display to the public for the first time starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a huge City celebration.

“It looks great,” Guerrero said. “Once you are in here it’s a different feeling you get in the park. It looks modern, the buildings in the background. A lot of plants, a lot of flowers. It’s beautiful. It’s a great park.”

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