The Austin Chronicle

Zilker Elementary Additions

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 28, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Which AISD staff "warned" that replacement of portable classrooms at Zilker Elementary could be blocked by "city regulations on impervious cover" [“AISD Bond Hearing,” News, Jan. 25]? Paul Turner, the director of AISD facilities, has used that excuse many times over the last 10 years to avoid dealing with the need to build permanent additions to Zilker, and the city's development review staff has refuted it every time. Even if AISD were limited by those regulations (it is not), the Zilker campus is nowhere near the city's impervious cover limit, and a permanent addition would likely take up less space than the existing portables, thus lowering the total impervious cover.
    The last time this came up (in February 2011), the Zilker Neighborhood Association went on record in support of "plans to expand Zilker School to replace portables." That was after getting similar runarounds from Turner's department during planning for the previous two bond packages. I hope the concerns of Amber Elenz (Zilker's new trustee) and Lori Moya (Zilker's previous trustee) as reported by Richard Whittaker reflect an awareness that AISD staff are continuing to mislead Campus Advisory Committees, bond committees, and the school board in this regard. The trustees are right to look elsewhere for credible planning information.
Lorraine Atherton

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