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Artwork approved for Austin Energy district cooling plant

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

On Monday evening, the Electric Utility Commission authorized a request to commission artist Beili Liu to develop and install artwork for the Austin Energy District Cooling Plant No. 3 project. This comes after the Arts Commission approved the artist at its May 3 meeting. The project, located on Electric Drive in the Seaholm EcoDistrict, will cost $202,500. According to Jim Collins, director of on-site energy resources at Austin Energy, the project’s funding falls within the Arts in Public Places ordinance, which grants 2 percent of eligible capital budgets for commissioning or purchasing art for a public site. Some commission members, however, questioned whether a cooling facility constitutes a public space and whether it’s appropriate to allocate such funding to it. Collins answered that the artwork would be visible on the north and south sides of the building, allowing for public viewing. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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