The Board of Trustees of the Austin Independent School District tonight voted to move forward with the purchase of a site for the district-wide Performing Arts Center (PAC). The approved site is located in the Mueller development along Mueller Boulevard between 51st Street and Barbara Jordan Boulevard.
Following a comprehensive site selection process and evaluation of 28 proposed sites, AISD staff and the real estate consultant recommended the site because it best fits the site selection criteria developed by the Performing Arts Center Task Force and the District's own site selection criteria including, but not limited to:
- Efficiency of location (for building orientation and public access)
- Central location in the District (as compared to other candidate sites)
- Availability of utilities
- Proximity to mass transit
- Potential for mixed-use
- Availability of nearby amenities and services
This land acquisition and the future construction of the PAC are fully funded through the bond package approved by voters in 2008. The PAC will provide the District with a much-needed facility to serve not only the band, orchestra, theater, dance and visual arts students, but also accommodate events such as assemblies and commencement that currently require the District to rent space.
A comprehensive feasibility study will be conducted before the site is purchased.
Given the current budget challenges, the District is considering how the operation of the PAC will affect future general maintenance and operation (M&O) funds to ensure that the timing of the opening of the PAC is compatible with the District's budget. If there is a decision to delay the construction of the PAC, purchasing the land now ensures the District is able to secure a centrally located site and allows the District to acquire the site at a more advantageous cost than will likely be available at a later time.
As the process continues, the board-appointed Performing Arts Center Task Force will continue to oversee the development of the PAC and there will be future opportunities for the community to provide feedback.
For more information about the PAC or the bond programs in general, visit the Apple at Work Bond Program section of the Austin ISD Website.