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Texarkana, TX council discusses Pine Street school - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Texarkana, TX council discusses Pine Street school

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Texarkana, Texas -

The Pine Street school, built in the 1920's, could soon be on the National Historic Register, but not if some city and community members can help it.  
    
While the owner wants the property on the registry, some believe it's just a plan to shield the building from code enforcement and demolition.
    
Texarkana, Texas council members will discuss the issue in Monday night's meeting.

Council members will consider a resolution objecting to the nomination of the Pine Street Middle School site and property being considered for the National Register of Historic Places.

Even if approved, the site could still be placed on the registry.

"It's disheartening to keep your property up really well, and then there is this huge property that has all the windows broken out of it," said Betty Williams, Highland Park resident.  

Williams believes the structure is unsafe and unsightly.

The building's owner, John Stone, acquired the campus in a land swap with Texarkana ISD back in 2005.

He also owns the McCartney Hotel downtown.

Williams doesn't believe Stone has plans for redevelopment anytime soon.

Mayor Bob Bruggeman also has concerns about the property.

At one point, he says Stone proposed a plan for senior loft apartments, however, that was years ago.

"Based on the time he's been in possession of the property, I would like to see some projected plans as far as development of the property," said Mayor Bruggeman.  

He says the school district has also expressed interest in building an elementary campus on the site.

Bruggeman says a historical designation could hinder safety and revitalization efforts for the Highland neighborhood.  

"I think there is a good chance that there is some of the buildings there that are beyond the point of being salvageable, like the auditorium and other buildings," said Bruggeman.

KTBS tried to reach the owner, John Stone, for comment, but he didn't not return our calls.   

The Texas Historic Commission approved the designation in January, but there is a public comment period before it becomes official.

If you would like to voice your opinion about the Pine Street property being on the historic registry email all comments to Edson Beall at edson_beall@nps.gov. The National Register reference number is 14000102-Texarkana Junior College and Texas High School.
    
The deadline for comments is Wednesday.

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