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Thursday, April 30, 2009

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Public Comment Session Set for Brackenridge Tract Conceptual Master Plans

AUSTIN – A special advisory committee of The University of Texas System Board of Regents will hear public comments on Thursday, May 13 on the two conceptual master plans submitted by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, LLP, for the possible redevelopment of the Brackenridge Tract in West Austin.

The public session will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the ninth floor board room of Ashbel Smith Hall, 201 W. 7th St. Individuals also may submit feedback on the conceptual master plans to a dedicated e-mail address (bracktract@utsystem.edu) in advance of the May 13 meeting.

The public comment session will be streamed live via a webcast.

The sole purpose of the meeting is for the task force to receive feedback on the conceptual master plans. The report may be viewed here and hard copies are available at the Austin History Center and at the Texas State Library.

Individuals interested in addressing the task force must register in writing no later than Tuesday, May 11 at 5 p.m. To register, please send your name and contact information to the task force e-mail address (bracktract@utsystem.edu).

Speakers are asked to limit their remarks to 3 minutes to allow the broadest number of individuals the ability to address the advisory committee. Comment cards will also be available at the public hearing. Written comments will be submitted to the special advisory committee.

The advisory committee, appointed last year by then-UT System Board of Regents' Chairman James R. Huffines to review the conceptual master plans, is made up of Regents’ Vice Chairman Janiece Longoria, Regent Printice L. Gary and Regent Wm. Eugene Powell. Regents’ Chairman Colleen McHugh will also attend the comment session.

The UT System Board of Regents in March 2008 selected Cooper Robertson to develop conceptual master plans for the potential redevelopment of the land. As part of the master planning process, the Cooper Robertson team conducted a series of public meetings to share information and provide opportunities for interested groups and individuals to offer input with respect to development options and strategies for the tract. Cooper Robertson presented the conceptual master plans to the Board in June 2009. The Board has taken no action on the plans, but in December 2009, voted to retain the Brackenridge Field Laboratory on the Brackenridge Tract.

The land along Lady Bird Lake was donated in 1910 by George W. Brackenridge, who was then a UT System regent from San Antonio, for the benefit of The University of Texas at Austin. Since that time, some acreage was conveyed for streets and similar public purposes and for residential development. Today, the tract consists of approximately 350 acres of undeveloped and developed land that includes a municipal golf course, UT Austin student housing, a biological field laboratory for the campus, a youth sports complex and various commercial buildings and enterprises on property leased from the Board.

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