Harris County's Engineering Department has presented Commissioners Court with a preliminary report on the proposed revitalization of the Astrodome. The initial phase of the project would raise the floor of the stadium to grade level, which would help meet the needs of events including the Offshore Technology Conference, which require additional programmable space. Two levels of parking would be created beneath the new ground-level floor; the parking areas will generate income that can be put back into the project.
Final plans and funding options are to be presented to county commissioners in September. The estimated cost of the plan is $105 to $110 million. County officials have stated that there will be no need to raise taxes to pay for the project.
A release from the county noted that the Astrodome is "a fully paid for asset owned by the taxpayers of Harris County." The plan would ensure the Dome's future while maximizing benefits for the tenants of NRG Park as well as Harris County residents.
Any plans to alter the Astrodome must be approved by Texas Historical Commission, which has stated the significance of preserving the volume underneath the dome. The Harris County Domed Stadium is listed on the National Historic Landmark, which describes the structure as "an engineering marvel of its time." Designation of the stadium as a State Antiquities Landmark is pending.
Preservation Houston will keep its members updated on future developments.