The original Rufus Cage Elementary was built in 1910. It was named after longtime educator and school board president Rufus Cage, and added with 21 other schools to the Houston Independent School District. After the two story, four room brick school building on Telephone Road closed in the 80s, the Houston School District wanted to sell the land, and the future of the historic structure would be up to whoever bought the property. Houston School Board member Juliet Stipeche says it's been a fight to save the building ever since:
"People in the community have worked so hard for the last twelve years, to make sure that we maintain this historic structure, as an area of continued learning, a wellness center, a place that is a historic jewel that other people throughout the city of Houston can come and enjoy."
The building is located in Councilmember James Rodriguez's district:
"I will work with my colleagues on council to make sure that there is a passing vote this Wednesday, and that we turn this over to the community, because that's what it's about, preserving our history, improving these historic facilities, and making sure that our community has something to be proud of."
Speaking is Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Councilmember Mike Sullivan, Houston State Representative Carol Alvarado, Houston School Board Member Juliet Stipeche, and Houston Councilmember James Rodriguez
Mayor Annise Parker says council will consider buying the land from HISD for $100, 000 in credits that the district can use to buy rights of way, or other city property in the future.
"We are gonna come in and stabilize the roof but, we don't know what the community's gonna want to do with it. We have a number of options, they've talked about community meeting space, maybe some performing arts space. It's a fairly large tract and it has great potential, one more symbol that the East End is in a Renaissance."
Council will pursue Houston's Protected Landmark designation that protects the building from demolition.