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Showdown over San Antonio’s Beacon Hill Elementary coming

October 1, 2018

The walls and ceilings are crumbling into the mud that was once the ground floor of the old Beacon Hill Elementary School. Just inside the main entrance, rainwater drips loudly through the deteriorating roof onto a pile of concrete and rebar.

Charming remnants of school days have somehow survived in the gloomy darkness through two decades of abandonment. There’s a painted buffalo mascot and a depiction of three parrots that repeat, “Read a book,” both peeling from the wall. One classroom is still decorated with pink hearts on a long string of old-fashioned printer paper.

Outside the main office, the late bell is still in place, but a fluorescent light fixture has crashed from the ceiling.

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With a collegiate Gothic Revival facade of stone and tan brick, the school on Ashby Street was built in either 1915 or the early 1920s, depending on which report one reads. Thousands of students passed through its halls over the years, until it closed in 1998 when the new Beacon Hill Academy opened next door.

Now the old school will be the subject of a Wednesday showdown before the Historic and Design Review Commission, which is weighing a historic designation for the building as the San Antonio Independent School District fights to have it demolished.

Read more about the controversial debate at expressnews.com. 

Alia Malik covers several school districts and the Alamo Colleges District in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | amalik@express-news.net | Twitter: @AliaAtSAEN

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