April 2014 Mueller Update

Written by Rick Krivoniak

In the 2013 AISD Bond Package, bonds for new schools did not pass. Ten acres are set aside for a school at Mueller. Though it is not specified as an AISD school, any proposed school has never been intended solely for Mueller resident enrollment. With 1,100 elementary-age kids (enough for two schools) projected at Mueller before 2018-2019, and increasing numbers in the surrounding neighborhoods as well, the reality is that AISD can’t or won’t build a school soon enough to provide relief for the crowding of Maplewood Elementary and influx of students to come at Blanton Elementary. AISD set the current enrollment areas.

On Tuesday, February 24th, Catellus provided a round-table discussion opportunity for the Northeast Austin community to share opinions, brainstorm, and offer ideas on a school at Mueller. The topics we discussed were:

• Curriculum/design – what grades, programs, special focus or mission were desired at a new school
• Innovative partnerships – ideas for joint-use facilities and/or partners for special programs as possibilities for a new school
• Operational structure – looking at models like a traditional district school, an in-district charter school, a private-but-open-enrollment charter school and others as options, including feedback on the opportunities and concerns
• School enrollment & attendance profiles – boundary, open-enrollment and lottery discussions sought ways to encourage a diverse student base while supporting local needs and existing schools, and how student attendance could be determined based on opportunities or constraints of schools types

Catellus also took input via an online survey, and will use data from both sources in talks with various school specialists to determine the next steps. The Master Developer Agreement between the City and Catellus places no time limit on the Mueller school site, nor is there any current proposal for a school.

By May, Berkman Drive should be constructed to its full-width section from 51st to Philomena Street, or two blocks south of Barbara Jordan Blvd. At least nine businesses are now open in the Mueller Market District, and over thirty are open in Mueller’s Regional Retail area. (See the full list here) Torchy’s Tacos at 51st and Berkman is still slated for a summer opening date.

Planned for a summer 2014 Grand Opening, the Sally & Mack Brown Rise School of Austin is located near the Austin Children’s Shelter in Rathgeber Village on Manor Road, a bit south of 51st and within Windsor Park’s boundaries. The mission of the school is to provide high quality early childhood education services to children with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities and to children without disabilities to provide an integrated learning environment.

The next Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Plan Implementation Advisory Commission meeting is Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6PM in Meeting Room 1 of the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina Street. Please send Mueller-related questions & comments to .

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