Telephone Road's Historic Cage Elementary May Be Preserved

The 101-year-old Cage Elementary building on Telephone Road may get a new lease on life with a deal Mayor Annise Parker proposed today.

The city would purchase the land and building from the Houston school district for $100,000 in credits that HISD can use to buy rights of way or other city property in the future.

"Provided City Council votes to approve this plan, the city will work with the neighborhood to seek proposals for conversion of the building to another use, possibly a community facility," Parker said. "We will pursue City of Houston Protected Landmark designation to prohibit demolition of the school. My goal is to ensure long-term preservation of the property for the Eastwood community."

The two-story, four-room brick school building and adjacent small auditorium is approximately 28,700 square feet, the city said.

There are no specific plans yet for the building, but it's expected to be transformed into some type of neighborhood center/park.

"We look forward to its use as an innovative and beautiful public space," councilmember Melissa Noriega said.

"This is an opportunity for us to work with the City of Houston to save a historic building," said HISD board member Juliet Stipeche. "We believe this will help keep the building operating as Rufus Cage intended it be used, for education of Houston's children. This building has been here for 100 years and we want it to be here for another 100 years."

HISD hasn't used the building as a school since 1983.

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