We've already previewed today's meeting of the Park and Rec board, but we missed one item of note: news of a public hearing scheduled for April 7 during which city officials will receive comments concerning those plans to plant Uplift Education's 20,000-square-foot open-enrollment charter school in the Science Place II Building at Fair Park. Paul Dyer, director of Park and Recreation, tells Unfair Park this morning that the city's still working though some issues with putting a school on public property -- among them, how to get kids to and from school during the State Fair of Texas and keeping the the building accessible to Fair Park-goers. But, he says, plans are moving forward as Uplift seeks its three-year specific use permit for the Planetarium site.
"A school would be a great activity for Fair Park, especially when the new aquarium opens and with the Butterfly House and the museums," Dyer says. "It's a great compliment for that. Logistically, the biggest challenge is the State Fair, which becomes the manager of the grounds during the fair, so it'd be up to them to allow access. But the good news is those buildings are on the perimeter, so students wouldn't have to come through the heavily trafficked areas like the Midway. And the City Attorney's Office had them answer questions concerning public accessibility. That's the test."
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Before Dyer had to jump into his daylong meeting, I did get the chance to ask him and Fair Park's executive general manager Daniel Huerta about that concert they were hoping to put in the Cotton Bowl. Dyer laughs: "Long story." The short version? Seems as though the performer they'd hoped to book has a scheduling conflict, Dyer says, "but they may end up getting another." As always, standing by.