A Bradfield Decision and Other Things to Know After HP Town Council Meeting

The Highland Park Town Council on Tuesday approved amendments to the site plan and elevation for construction of a new Bradfield Elementary School and agreed to waive 65 percent of the building permitting costs up to $200,000.

The amendments incorporate some, but not all, of the recommendations to emerge from a peer review of the previously approved design from Stantec, Highland Park ISD’s architect for the project.

Russell Windham, a Houston architect with a practice committed to the classical tradition, conducted the peer review on behalf of the town for free with the goal of finding ways to help the building fit better architecturally into the neighborhood adjacent to Highland Park Village.

Price estimates showed Windham’s proposals adding $754,000 to build, according to HPISD. That’s $354,000 more than district leaders are willing to spend.

Instead, they asked town leaders for permission to go with changes costing only $399,000 more. The plan keeps a much-discussed colonnade in front of the entry courtyard and forgoes changes to a tower, but modifies window designs throughout the school and incorporates quatrefoils and more brick into the design.

Council member David Dowler, who was disappointed the school district didn’t incorporate more of the recommended changes and particularly bothered that the colonnade wasn’t removed from the project, abstained from the vote on the amendments.

But the vote to waive about $200,000 in building permitting fees was unanimous.

Other things to know from Tuesday night’s council meeting:

New Mayor Pro Tem

The council approved Goodwin’s appointment of council member John McKnight as mayor pro tem for a period of two years. The mayor pro tempore performs the duties of mayor in case of the absence or disability of the mayor, and if a vacancy were to occur in the office of mayor, would become mayor until the next regular election.

Board Appointments

The council also approved Goodwin’s appointments to the Board of Adjustment and Planning Review Board and the Zoning Commission.

For the of the Board of Adjustment and Planning Review Board, Goodwin appointed Tom Boone as chairman, Chuck Reeder and Stacey Furst as members, and Joan Clark as an alternate member. Sherri Baer and Steve Swenson will continue to serve as members until their terms end on June 3, 2019.

For the the Zoning Commission, the mayor reappointed Margaret Keliher as chairman, and Brian Ficke, Alison Hunsicker, Richard L. Jones Jr., and Carolyn Seay as members.

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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