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Palm School proposal still months away

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

The saga of the Palm School continues to slowly – very slowly – unfold. On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court heard an update on the property from Economic & Strategic Planning Director Mark Gilbert. Gilbert reminded the court that it had launched a committee in tandem with the city of Austin to explore potential preservation opportunities for the 19th-century building at E. Cesar Chavez Street and I-35. The structure is currently occupied by the county’s Health and Human Services and Veterans Services Department, but those workers are slated to move into a new building currently in the works on Airport Boulevard. Gilbert told the court that, as of last week, the county is searching for a qualified firm to conduct a full-blown historic structure report, “which will provide a depth of information that really informs all the possible recommendations, all the possible conclusions we can draw” regarding preservation opportunities. He suggested that once a firm is found, it can carry out its work throughout the rest of 2017 in order to provide information to the Palm School Committee to make a decision by the time the county pulls its workers out of the building in 2019.

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