School expansion versus historic neighborhoods

Healthy local schools are important for the life of historic neighborhoods, but that interest needs to be balanced against the goals of preserving significant buildings and keeping them in residential use.

The San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission recently denied the San Antonio ISD’s request to relocate an 1890s house to make room for expansion at Bonham Academy, an in-district charter school. “King William home won’t move for charter school”, Theresa Clift, San Antonio Express-News, June 20, 2012. The King William Association opposed relocation, as did the San Antonio Conservation Society.

Earlier this year, the Monte Vista Historic Association called a town hall meeting to air concerns about institutional encroachment. Among other things, residents were worried about increased traffic at Trinity Baptist Church, which will rent high school classroom space to KIPP: San Antonio, starting in the 2012-13 school year. Monte Vista takes its fight to the schools, Elaine Wolff, Plaza de Armas, March 20, 2012. The controversy has quieted down now that Monte Vista has reached an understanding with neighbor Trinity University. “Trinity reaches an agreement”, Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, March 29, 2012.

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