Every year, 26 million tourists visit San Antonio and their dollars drive much of our economy, so it’s important to make a good impression on our guests.

But after a recent $325 million expansion project at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, KENS 5 found a few housekeeping items that needed attention at the base of the Tower of the Americas adjacent to the southern part of the convention space.

There were exposed electrical boxes, corrosion, and public art being used as a hideout for vagrants. There were also landscaped areas that had grown wild and a broken water feature in a public space near the heart of one of our busiest tourist zones.

After looking at our pictures, Mike Sawaya, the director of convention and sports facilities, said that the whole area had been closed off during the recent expansion work, but he agreed that now that the new facilities are open, some repairs are in order.

He said that he would send electricians to take care of the wiring issues, have staff move the vagrants along, and do some general cleaning.

As for the peeling paint that has corroded away, Sawaya said that the contract has already been awarded and the work may be done by the end of the year so that the beautiful public art in the area will shine, and the city can put its best face forward.