Commissioner Bush, Alamo leaders praise Texas Legislature for fully funding the Alamo
AUSTIN — AUSTIN - Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush today applauded the Members of the 85th Legislature for fully funding his request for $75 million for the Alamo, the Cradle of Texas Liberty, in its biennial budget. Commissioner Bush sought the funds to preserve and protect the historic buildings of the Alamo Church and Long Barrack and to continue the unprecedented progress that has been made on the Alamo Master Plan. The Senate voted 30 to 1 in favor of passage, while the House passed it with a vote of 135 to 14.
"The Alamo is the place where Texas' renowned spirit of independence began in 1836 and I am extremely pleased that the Legislature has shown its support by fully funding our request to help us restore dignity and preserve it for future generations," Commissioner Bush said. "The state of Texas is joining the city of San Antonio in making sure that the Alamo will be preserved and protected for future generations. I would like to thank Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Joe Straus, Sen. Jane Nelson, Rep. John Zerwas, the members of the budget conference committee and other leaders in the Texas Legislature for ensuring that the budget includes this vital funding for the Alamo."
"The City of San Antonio is grateful to Commissioner Bush for his leadership and to the members of the Texas Legislature for their continued commitment to this project and fully funding the request of $75 million," said San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. "This outstanding show of support by our legislators and the successful passage of the San Antonio 2017 Bond Program provide this project with an unprecedented level of support. By joining forces in this project, we will preserve and protect the Alamo and help future generations understand the complex history of this cherished place."
"This is a truly great day for the Alamo," said Alamo Endowment Board Member Gene Powell. "When we started this work almost two years ago, we pledged to have no small thoughts and make no small plans. We are committed to preserving and protecting the Alamo for future generations and to returning the dignity to this site. It's a monumental task and we simply could not do it without the support of the Texas Legislature. The Alamo belongs to the State of Texas and we should be incredibly proud of our state leaders we have who have demonstrated their commitment to preserving and celebrating our heritage. "
Upon taking office in 2015, Commissioner Bush made the Alamo one of his key priorities. He reconstituted the Alamo Endowment Board, which he chairs. He also sought and secured major funding in the 84th Legislature, with which the Land Office began addressing immediate structural preservation and safety issues in the Alamo Church and Long Barrack. The funds also enabled the GLO to purchase the Crockett, Palace and Woolworth buildings adjacent to Alamo Plaza. The Alamo Master Plan proposes to repurpose those buildings into a world-class visitor center and museum.
Commissioner Bush also negotiated a cooperative agreement among the Texas General Land Office, the city of San Antonio, and the Alamo Endowment, under which the three entities are working together on the design and implementation of a new master plan for the Alamo and surrounding area. This month, San Antonio voters overwhelmingly approved a bond program that includes $21 million for the Alamo. The San Antonio City Council also unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan and conceptually approved closing a portion of Alamo and Crockett streets in order to recapture the Historic Mission Plaza. The Master Plan proposes to delineate the historic footprint of the mission and to expose archaeological remains of the mission walls and stone footings. These artifacts would be protected and visible to the public through structural glass day and night. The Alamo Master Plan will include a large visitor center and museum for displaying artifacts and telling the Alamo's story - including the battle of the Alamo in 1836 and over 300 years of layered history.
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