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Cancún's deficient auditorium. Cancún's deficient auditorium.

Cancún auditorium closed for deficiencies

Lack of air conditioning seen as an important oversight

Cancún’s Auditorio del Bienestar, literally the Well-being Auditorium, was to be the multi-million-peso flagship of ex-governor Roberto Borge’s administration. But its own well-being suffers from deficiencies.

Borge, now under suspicion of embezzlement and suspended by his party, dedicated the multi-purpose auditorium in September with then-Cancún mayor Paul Carrillo in a ceremony that barely lasted 20 minutes.

It might have been that officials decided to cut it short given that the temperature inside the facility easily soars above 40 degrees C: the auditorium was built without an air conditioning system, and the venue’s design doesn’t allow for the simple installation of one now.

That is just one defect in a long list of problems that have left the Well-being Auditorium closed.

The new state administration has assessed the structural integrity of the auditorium, and while it has been deemed unlikely to fall down, several aspects of its construction could put people at serious risk.

Heat won’t be an issue during the rainy season, at least for those unfortunate enough to have a seat in the back of the auditorium, as the wind easily blows the rain inside.

The angle at which the bleachers and stairs were built is reportedly inadequate and not in accordance with safety standards, and the locker rooms and showers are nowhere to be found.

The venue, intended as a performance venue and a place for sports and cultural events and rodeos, also lacks fire hydrants.

The state, under new Governor Carlos Joaquín, has estimated that 100 million pesos is needed to modify the botched project and make it functional.

One of the largest venues of its kind in Mexico in terms of seats — it has 11,202 — the five-level building cost more than 244 million pesos (about US $19 million).

Nayarit architectural firm FDL was in charge of the design — which is identical to a facility in that state — and the construction of the auditorium, which started in August 2014 and concluded in March last year.

The construction of the Well-being Auditorium was given priority over a much-needed new general hospital for the city of Cancún, a project that has been under construction for four years whose completion date is yet to be announced.

The Federal Auditor’s Office said before its completion that it lacked a proper construction permit and that no environmental impact assessment had been performed before construction began.

The state countered by claiming that no construction permits were needed as the auditorium was a municipal project built by the state government.

With regard to the environmental assessment study, Borge’s officials said it had been completed and approved in 2012.

The 9,000-square-meter horseshoe-shaped facility has a lienzo charro, or rodeo grounds, along with fully equipped corrals and pens. It also has a commercial area for 14 stores and food and refreshment areas.

The state Secretary of Transportation and Infrastructure said yesterday that several firms have expressed interest in renting the building. But Jorge Portilla Manica said some work was needed to make it usable, including the installation of air conditioning, without which the temperature inside was “unbearable.”

Source: El Universal (sp), Noticaribe (sp)

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