Friday, April 13, 2012

Change of Heart in Deep Ellum

In my previous post about the saga of a new charter school, from Uplift Education, in Deep Ellum, I expressed my concern that the truce between Deep Ellum stakeholders and the school after the removal of the 300 foot barrier between schools and alcohol establishments could be tempered by something else. My fear was that some of these folks were against it no matter what and we grabbing for whatever reason they could to oppose the measure. Thankfully, for some, the 300 foot barrier was the only reason.

As reported in the Wednesday edition of the Dallas Morning News, the neighborhood is coming around (it is behind the paywall). Here's some quotes I thought were great to hear.

And many locals are now accepting, if not embracing, the arrival of all those new kids on the block.

" I really feel like all the school's going to do is add to the neighborhood's culture," said Stephanie Schumacher, owner of La Grange, a nearby music venue.
"We actually reached out to them," he (Clint Barlow, owner of Trees) said. "We'd like to help with some sort of band camp if they have enough [students] interested. ... The kids might find an outlet to express themselves in a positive way here."
"There are really good partnerships that can happen there," he (Tanner Hockensmith, director at Life in Deep Ellum) said. "One thing that is lost in eduaction is the arts. ... I think Deep Ellum has always been an eclectic place, and it's perfect for the school."
Hockensmith said some business owners may have to get used to the change, but the adjustment period will be short.
"The start of the conversations were 'How can we coexist?' Now it's, 'How can we assist you?' he said. "Five years down the road, that school's going to be the fabric of this neighborhood."

Many of these sentiments I echoed in the past, more than once. It is good to see that I was partially wrong in that alcohol sales were the stumbling block for most of the dissenters.

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