District Looks to Finalize Actions to Liquidate Buildings
Properties to provide affordable housing units
The Austin Independent School District is moving forward with the sale of several buildings including the district's headquarters building, the Carruth Administration Center, located at 1111 W. Sixth St., pending approval of the district's trustees.
Previously, the board began a plan of action to review its assets. District officials began soliciting bids for certain properties through an open, public process.
"This is a positive step forward. AISD is among the largest land owners in the city. Along with that comes the responsibility to make determinations regarding properties and facilities so that we're effectively and efficiently planning for the future," said Superintendent Paul Cruz. "The sale of all the previously announced properties come as the district anticipates continued budget challenges."
The district stands to realize more than $60 million in revenue from the sale of these properties.
Additionally, the sale of some of the properties will provide affordable housing opportunities consistent with the trustee's desire to ensure that district assets are used in an effort to stabilize communities with more housing options.
"We consistently hear that affordability is an obstacle for families looking to remain in AISD," said Nicole Conley Johnson, Chief Financial Officer for the district. "The contracts we are looking to execute require the developer to provide 25% affordable housing units," she said.
Also, pending approval of the trustees, is the purchase of the building slated to be the district's new headquarters, the facility called the Southfield Building at 4000 I-35.
An added benefit to the new location is that the proposed headquarters is near the intersection of several connected transportation roadways, including Ben White Boulevard and I-35. One challenge with the Sixth Street location is that the growth within the downtown core sometimes produces very challenging traffic conditions.
"A key piece of feedback we hear from visitors and employees alike is that parking and downtown traffic are major challenges at our current location," said Reyne Telles, Executive Director of Communication and Engagement. "We are confident that the new location will help alleviate these concerns as we hope folks find this location more accessible," he added.
Additionally, as opposed to the several buildings that comprise the current headquarters, the proposed new location will provide a centralized access point, allowing for improved customer service.
The proposed new location will bring together several departments previously housed at different locations, including employees with offices at the Baker Center, 3908 Avenue B. A portion of the revenue from the CAC and Baker Center will be used to purchase the Southfield Building at a cost substantially less than the cost needed to fix the deficiencies at both buildings.
Pending the closure, some employees could begin working at the new location as soon as the sale is finalized, with others moving in at a later date.
The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Monday, Nov. 27 for their regularly scheduled board meeting at 7 p.m. View the agenda at https://www.austinisd.org/board/meetings.
AISD's Carruth Administration Center comprises approximately 2.751 acres of land.