About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Supporters of the effort to preserve the historic Montopolis Negro School in Southeast Austin hope to tap into some of Austin’s Hotel Occupancy Tax to fund renovations to the property. In an email to community leaders aligned with the school issue, local historian Fred McGhee said the push by Travis County commissioners to receive funding from a proposed two-percentage-point increase in the hotel tax could possibly be used for the preservation efforts. The property has come under dispute since it was purchased by local developer Austin Stowell, who has obtained a demolition permit to tear down the school structure that has a significant role in local African-American history. Plans have called for everything from single-family homes to commercial development in its place, but Stowell has recently said he would rehabilitate the school structure as part of a mixed-use project. McGhee also told supporters that a resolution of support for the preservation effort is expected to be introduced at Tuesday’s Travis County Commissioners Court meeting.
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