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U.S. Consulate in Tijuana Breaks Ground on New Facility

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana has broken ground on a new facility. Consular officials say the new building will let them help more people more efficiently. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

U.S. Consul General Ron Kramer says the current space is woefully inadequate.

He says the consulate is bursting at the seams. The high demand for visas forced the staff to rent an extra building. What used to pass for a staff exercise space is now a storage closet.

Kramer says the new space will allow them to attend to everyone’s needs in one place.

Kramer : We’ll be able to accommodate more people. We’ll have a larger staff concentrated in one area. And we'll be able to deal with people quicker and more efficiently, in a friendlier atmosphere.

The new building can fit 60 more consular employees.

They’ll be twice the number of windows to attend to people’s requests.

The $20 million facility will be located in eastern Tijuana.

Officials project it'll take two years to complete.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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