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Commissioners Court limits scope of Palm School Committee

Thursday, February 4, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

A committee to explore options for a high-dollar corner of downtown Austin has received its marching orders. On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court agreed to formally create and deputize the Palm School Committee to take a solid look at the Palm School property at East Cesar Chavez Street and I-35. The court had before it seven potential charges to bestow on the committee, but ultimately it decided to grant only two of them. The remaining five, according to County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, included “things that actually can’t be delegated or shouldn’t be delegated to a committee.” As it stands, the committee is tasked with exploring the preservation of the 120-year-old Palm School building, along with any potential historical designations for which it might qualify. To achieve that goal, the committee will consult a team made up of a professional historian, an architectural historian and a structural engineer. The list of committee members includes Commissioner Margaret Gómez, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, City Council Member Pio Renteria and Dewitt Peart of the Downtown Austin Alliance, among others.

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