The Port Arthur News
A groundbreaking ceremony turned into a wall breaking ceremony in Nederland on Thursday.
City councilmembers each grabbed a sledge hammer and took some swings at the wall dividing council chambers from the current fire station. Pieces of sheetrock fell to the floor as the hammers were pounded into the wall.
“We decided not to use shovels,” Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said to the crowd which included former councilmembers, city employees, representatives of other Mid-County cities and the family of former mayor Homer Nagel.
The unique ceremony heralds the beginning of work on the Homer E. Nagel Public Safety Complex. Bruce’s General Construction was awarded the bid for the project in the amount of $3.1 million and the project includes the renovation and improvement of the existing police station and the construction of a new fire station as well as renovating the emergency operations center.
The building in named in honor of Nagel, who served as mayor of the city for 28 years and died at the age of 89 in 2011. Members of Nagel’s family were in attendance.
“We are thrilled and honored,” Jody Griffith, daughter, said, to which his other daughter, Brenda Arnold, added “he would be so proud. He loved this city.”
Also representing Nagel’s family was Andi Weber and Griffith’s son and daughter-in-law Jake and Brandy Griffith.
The project is scheduled to be completed by no later than August 2014.