On Wednesday June 20, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo held the second Rehabilitation Project Town Hall meeting for the members of the neighborhood. The meeting was hosted by Ambassador Kelly Keiderling and OBO Project Director Jose Padilla, and was attended by 50 neighbors, including Councilman Gustavo Zuñiga from Junta Departamental de Montevideo.
The evening commenced with a welcome address from Ambassador Kelly Keiderling retelling the history of the embassy building, which was designed in the 1960’s by American architect I.M. Pei and opened for operation in 1969. She also highlighted that the Renovation Project began on January 22, 2018, and will last for approximately 36 more months.
Ambassador Keiderling conveyed to the community that the Embassy is listening to their concerns. The Ambassador expressed her understanding that it is not easy for one to live near a construction zone, but said that the neighbors could be reassured that the Embassy will maintain the lines of communication open for as long as the project lasts.
Over the next few months, much of the visible impact will occur on the north side of the Embassy compound along Dr. Lauro Müller street; some visible activities will include the installation of a temporary fence, concrete demolition, pouring work, and drilling. In addition to the new two-story utility building, the Embassy will receive life safety improvements such as installing new fire sprinklers and replacing the elevators. OBO Project Director Jose Padilla explained that, although the building will undergo many upgrades and improvements, the Embassy will maintain its original esthetic and value.