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Uvalde commissioners OK purchase of facility for community support services following shooting

Patricia Lim
Crosses were placed outside the Uvalde County Courthouse in May as a memorial for the 19 students and two faculty members at Robb Elementary School. On Thursday, county commissioners approved buying a building to house a long-term 'resiliency center' to help those affected by the shooting.

Uvalde County commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a building to house community support services. It’s the latest step toward healing a community still reeling from the May shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Uvalde County Judge William Mitchell said it will cost an estimated $700,000 to buy the facility, which formerly housed the First State Bank of Uvalde.

“The governor’s office has given us a grant to make that purchase,” Mitchell said. “So the recommendation today is that we go ahead and approve that purchase of the building to be used as Uvalde County Resiliency Center.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott’s office announced a $5 million investment to establish a long-term “resiliency center” in the community. According to the governor’s office, the goal of the center is to provide “ongoing mental health resources and other assistance” – including help with insurance claims, child care and general expenses – to those affected by last month’s shooting.

The Uvalde Together Resiliency Center has been operating on a temporary basis at the county fairground while officials sought to secure a permanent location.

Mitchell said some of the grant money will be used to cover costs for renovating the former bank, though the price of those renovations isn't known at this time. Commissioners also approved a short-term lease for the property to begin work on the building while the sale is being finalized.