Nearly three weeks after a fire badly damaged the Texas Civil Rights Project’s Austin office, director Jim Harrington dreamed that he went to work on Monday and found walls painted “a beautiful, florescent green color.”
Those walls might not be green when repairs are complete in about three to four months, but Harrington said the office would “definitely” be colorful again. Before the fire covered the walls with black soot, every wall was a different color, since each worker chose a favorite hue for his or her space.
Working from rented space in the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid office, TCRP staffers remain “upbeat” despite the Oct. 30 fire, said Harrington. They’ve sorted through stuff that survived the blaze, and now a professional remediation company will clean and deodorize the items.
Harrington said the TCRP’s insurance coverage would handle the structural repairs and replace ruined office furniture. But he said he expects a “shortfall” of $40,000 to $60,000 for full recovery. The TCRP raised $20,000 towards the goal at its recent Bill of Rights dinner, and it will continue fundraising to make up the rest, said Harrington.
“It could be a lot worse. It also could be a lot better,” he said. “So we’ll keep plugging on. The staff spirit and the solidarity is really terrific, so we’ll have a greater sense of that when we’re back in the office together.”