City Council denies historic designation for Beacon Hill Elementary, paves way for demolishment

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SAN ANTONIO – An 18-month battle to preserve or demolish Beacon Hill Elementary is now over.

City Council voted Thursday to unanimously deny the Beacon Hill Elementary School building a historic designation, allowing the school to be demolished.

"We've met with all of our City Council members and we've just been trying to get what our kids deserve," said Victoria Cavazos, a parent.

The council’s vote comes with conditions.

"Through collaboration with the school district, we’re going to have a very strong connection with the school district to help discuss things like historic preservation, like art and architecture, a curriculum that talks about cultural heritage," District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino said.

The building, built in 1915, become a safety concern for parents. In April 2018, students were told the playground was off limits.

"We were getting a lot of bricks that were falling into the playground, into the kids’ playground, and it wound up becoming just a big concern," parent Amanda Gonzales said.

The San Antonio Independent School District released the following statement on the City Council decision:

“This District is pleased with the decision today by City Council to deny the resolution for landmark designation of the old Beacon Hill structure, allowing us to move forward.”

“We’re appreciative of the meaningful discussions held with the city on this matter, where common ground was discovered.  We thank the City for listening to the Beacon Hill families and working toward a solution that balanced the importance of cultural heritage with what is best for our families.”

“We thank our parents, community and Trustee Christina Martinez for leading the charge in bringing visibility to the issue with the old Beacon Hill building.  We look forward to creating more open, green space for our students.”

SAISD said there is currently no timeline for when the building will be destroyed, but before the district applies for a demolition permit, it must submit a salvage and reuse plan for building materials.

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