Repurposing Rosedale



The former Rosedale Elementary School is a 36,501 square foot school facility constructed in 1939 situated on a 4.62 acre site located at 2117 West 49th Street and nestled in the Central Austin neighborhood that bears its name. It was most recently home to the Rosedale School. 

Created in 1988 within the original Rosedale Elementary School, Rosedale serves students from ages 3-22 with severe special needs, including children who are medically fragile or need intensive behavioral support. It also houses the Transition to Life in the Community program, which prepares older students for postsecondary life. 

As part of the 2017 Bond Program, the district delivered a modernized facility located at the former Lucy Read Pre-K site at 7505 Silvercrest Drive that is custom-built to meet the needs of Rosedale students. The facility opened in February 2022. 

Current Status

The district has outlined a concept for the property and the site criteria, including benefits to the community, that must be met by any proposals based on these findings and feedback received to date. The district presented the information to the community on September 12, 2023. Review a copy of the presentation.

The district was planning to bring an action item to the Board of Trustees in November 2023 regarding the repurposing of the former Rosedale School campus. However, the Board chose to delay this item due to immediate priorities related to the ongoing Superintendent search, onboarding the Texas Education Agency monitors, and continuing to implement the district’s comprehensive plan to transform how students and families experience Special Education in Austin ISD. 

The Board wants to ensure that the repurposing of Rosedale gets the proper attention it deserves and so will wait until early 2024 to continue the conversation.


Phase 1: Equity and Community Engagement

From January 2022 – March 2022, the district hosted a series of community meetings and solicited input from the community members and stakeholders about their needs and how the former Rosedale Elementary School site could best respond to those needs. The top priorities were identified:

  • Community center
  • Open park space with playground and area for dogs
  • Affordable and workforce housing
  • Child care center

Phase 2 and 3: Real Estate, Financial and Economic Analysis

The district engaged Hayat Brown LLC through a competitive procurement process to conduct a feasibility study of the site. The study was delivered in August 2022 and included the following key findings:

  • Median Family Income (MFI) for an individual within 1 mile of site is 33% higher than District's average base teacher/staff salary
  • 78.5% of AISD teachers/staff earn less than 80% of MFI ($61,800) ,95% earn less than 120% ($92,650) for an individual.
  • Detached homes are costly and multifamily buildings offer few family-sized units.
  • Area rents align with nearby resident incomes but exceed affordable levels for teachers and district staff.
  • For sale housing costs far exceed costs for similar rental units.
  • Rental rates are escalating quickly.

The district then created a high-level development strategy to ensure that each repurposed site continues to benefit the community, while helping the District to advance its academic, staff recruitment and retention needs.

Phase 4: Presentation of Findings and Recommended Actions

The findings from this plan were presented to the community through a series of community meetings held in September 2022 to solicit feedback and provide further direction for the repurposing of the site. The district heard the following:

  • Supportive of building housing on site but not density
  • Prefer to see single family homes or townhomes
  • Concerns about impact on traffic and neighborhood character 
  • Want to preserve park and green space

In late January 2023, the district also conducted a survey of all staff to gather information about employees’ experience with housing in Austin. Over 2,700 responses were received and the district learned the following:

  • Who they live with: 41.2% live with a spouse or partner; 37.4% live with family; 19.2% live alone; and 8.8% with roommates
  • Cost of living: 73.8% of teachers/librarians spend more than 30% of their salary on housing; 80.3% of classified staff (i.e. bus drivers, custodians, food service, maintenance, etc.) spend more than 30% of their salary on housing
  • Who shares housing costs with family, spouse, partner or roommate: 67.8% responded yes; and 32.2% responded no

Lack of affordable housing: on a scale of 1-10, with 10 indicating strong agreement, 74.7% rated 10/10 that the lack of affordable housing is a barrier to working in the City of Austin

Aerial Map

Key Information

  • 2117 W. 49th St.
    Austin, Texas 78756
  • Property ID: 224829
  • Lot Size: 4.62 acres
  • Building Size: 36,501 SF
  • Year Built: 1939
  • Parking: 47 stalls
  • Zoning: SF-3