In 2014, the Front Porch Flyer reflected on the delicate dance around the Mueller school site, “The Mueller redevelopment is a large, complex public-private project. As such, any public institution, like a school, must be considered in its social context as well. While Mueller’s six guiding principles may be well understood, to put it succinctly… what is good for Mueller must also be good for Northeast Austin and the city as a whole. We Mueller neighbors moved here with open eyes, understanding this complexity. While adding 13,000 people to one area is a challenge anywhere, it is doubly challenging when it’s an infill development with established neighborhoods on all four sides. Nowhere is this challenge clearer than in a discussion of how a public school in Mueller could play a role within the greater landscape of Northeast Austin education.”
In fact, the Front Porch Flyer has covered the school site at Mueller for the entire eight-year history of our publication. The dance described above has played out over multiple school bonds, superintendents, and school board trustees.
Patience, in its virtue, has brought us back to the dance hall. Throughout 2016, Austin Independent School District (AISD) has studied the Mueller school site and, more broadly, put forth a Vision for Northeast Austin, that includes schools that are socioeconomically integrated, retain and reclaim neighborhood families, and strengthen academic achievement for all students. Throughout the year, there was broad community sentiment that a middle school in Mueller would serve this regional vision well as it:
Complements the the current middle school options in Northeast Austin of single–gender middle schools to the north and magnet schools to the south.
Offers multiple pathways of socio–economic integration for Northeast Austin families who previously transferred within or out of AISD. Additionally, this would also retain and reclaim neighborhood families, as hundreds of families are currently leaving Northeast Austin AISD schools for other in-district and charter options.
Strengthens academic achievement through both programming and potential Mueller partners like the University of Texas, Seton, Dell Children’s Medical Center, the Thinkery, The Wildflower Center, Austin Film Studios, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. These partnerships would serve the region with an outward–focused middle school at Mueller.
Graphic courtesy of AISD
After a long and delicate dance between Muellerfolk, AISD, Catellus, and multiple charter school interests, an AISD middle school at Mueller is currently being explored during AISD’s Facility Master Planning process this spring.
If you’ve still got your dancing shoes from from prior years’ discussion, it’s time to get them out of the closet. If you’ve worn out your dancing shoes, it’s time to get a fresh pair. If you’re new to the school dance, then get ready. We will be posting frequent school-related updates on the new online Front Porch Flyer.