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County commissioners move forward on conversion of historic West Side night club into digital library

Artist rendering of what circulation desk could look like inside BiblioTech, a digital library
Courtesy photo
Bexar County
Artist rendering of what the circulation desk could look like inside BiblioTech, a digital library.

The historic Lerma's Nite Club conversion into a BiblioTech Digital Library was bolstered by county commissioners' recent approval of a $1.4 million construction bid.

Commissioners during their May 7 meeting approved a bid from CMC Development and Construction Corporation, LLC, to turn a portion of the old West Side night club building into library space, including computers.

The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center owns the 1942 art deco-style building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It pumped in $1 million just to restore the existing structure. The city and county also both paid half-a-million dollars toward the restoration.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, who represents the West Side, told his fellow commissioners he was proud to carry on with the commitments made on the project by his predecessor in office, the late Hector Elizondo.

"So, we're following up on a lot of those commitments, trying to make it not just a centerpiece for the West Side but one that is utilized because of the digital divide in the community," Rodriguez said of the community's desperate need to be connected to more computers.

In its prime, Lerma’s was a rite of passage for conjunto artists. Its accessible price and vibrant community made it a hotspot for conjunto lovers.

The near West Side is among the underserved areas of San Antonio, according to the elected leaders who represent the area.

The night club building is located at 1602 N. Zarzamora.

Expected to be commenced soon, the construction project is only expected to take about six months to complete, according to documents provided to commissioners.

The construction bid also includes the installation of new furniture.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.