St. Joseph High School hosts public meeting to discuss De Leon Street closure
By BY MELISSA CROWE - MCROWE@VICAD.COM
Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 20, 2013 at 7:21 p.m.
The discussion on whether to close a portion of De Leon Street continues Wednesday evening.
St. Joseph High School is hosting a public meeting in the school cafeteria in hopes of opening dialogue and reaching a solution with concerned residents.
Officials at the school plan to build a new fine arts center, the David Pozzi Center, across from the main campus. However, in order to expand and have a safe crossing, school officials say the block of De Leon Street between Red River and Virginia streets should be closed.
While the road closure will give the school room to expand, critics say high school students should be able to safely cross the street.
The school offered a trade with the city in exchange for the block of De Leon Street. The school will give up a portion of right-of-way along Red River Street, an $11,700 payment and up to $25,000 for future utility repairs under De Leon Street.
When the issue was presented to the Victoria City Council on Jan. 2, the city's elected leaders voted 5-2, with Emett Alvarez and Josephine Soliz voting against the measure.
It appears residents in the College Park neighborhood are also divided. Some have said the closure will block a main artery toward downtown, while others debated if the give-and-take offer is worth the closure.