Proposed site announced for the Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute for Texas public school administrators
For Immediate Release Media Contact: Kate Rogers, 210-464-1258
February 17, 2017
(AUSTIN, TX) –The Holdsworth Center, a premier school leadership institute to be based in Austin, announced details of the proposed site at a City Council briefing on Thursday, February 16. The site, located along Ranch to Market 2222 near the Loop 360 bridge, includes approximately 44 acres of lakefront property. The center plans to develop only 8.8 acres of the approved 9.3 acres of impervious cover in order for water quality goals to be achieved.
Founded by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt and named for his mother, the Holdsworth Center has the goal of supporting and developing public school leaders in order to improve, over time, the quality of education offered to every child in every classroom in Texas.
Designed by San Antonio-based architects, Lake Flato, the academic campus is intended to enhance the existing ecological character of the land by employing a sustainable, low impact design that strives to preserve open spaces and to reuse existing structures and materials. The center will feature a retreat-like atmosphere to facilitate learning and reflection.
“We are excited about the possibility to move forward with plans to establish the future site of the Holdsworth Center in a location that will inspire creativity and innovative learning,” said Kate Rogers, Executive Vice President of the Holdsworth Center. “When school leaders visit the campus, our hope is that the serene setting will provide the perfect backdrop for leadership development and inspired teamwork to take place.”
The property is currently owned by the Mueller family, and is subject to Lake Austin single family residential zoning. The center is pursuing a Planned Unit Development (PUD) designation to accommodate the nonprofit leadership institute’s unique needs, and to ensure the land will not be repurposed in the future for any other use, including commercial enterprise. On March 1 the center plans to submit an official application to the city of Austin in order to begin the process.
“We’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of the neighbors surrounding the proposed site, and are encouraged by their support of our mission and the positive impact the Holdsworth Center will have on the future of public education for our state,” said Rogers.
Design and construction plans will maintain the existing character of the hillside and preserve the more than 100 Heritage trees on the site. Key aesthetic features will include rain gardens and natural landscaping that will complement the existing ecology and create an opportunity for holistic stormwater management and enhanced water quality.
Various traffic safety improvements such as designated turn and deceleration lanes are also planned to help improve mobility and access along RM 2222. Onsite lodging for participants in the leadership programs offered by Holdsworth will also help to minimize daily traffic counts.
“Our ultimate goal is to establish a world-class training and leadership retreat center that provides an immersive experience for participants, while preserving more than 20 acres of beautiful hill country land and creating something in which our public school leaders and the Austin community can take great pride,” Rogers said.
The Holdsworth Center
Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded by Charles Butt, a lifelong advocate for public education, the Holdsworth Center will offer world class training and leadership development to school districts selected to participate through a generous multi-year investment. Named after Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, an educator and dedicated philanthropist, the Center’s goal is to successfully support and develop the leaders of the more than 1,200 school districts in Texas and the thousands of campus leaders in the state in order to improve the quality of education offered to every child in every classroom. For more information, visit www.holdsworthcenter.org.
NOTE: The Holdsworth Center rendering below is only a conceptual rendering and is not the actual or final design.