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Convention center challenge moves forward

Petition to put plan to a citywide vote approved by city clerk

Exterior of seven-story glass and concrete building, photo shot from corner across the street.
Austin Convention Center
John Tornow/Creative Commons

A petition that would require a plan to expand and rebuild the Austin Convention Center to a citywide vote has been certified by the city clerk, KUT reported Saturday. The matter will now be considered by the the Austin City Council, which approved the planned expansion in May.

The drive was instigated by Unconventional Austin, a political action committee opposed to the expansion—or at least wants it put to a citizen vote. The ordinance proposed in the petition would require such a vote on any proposed expansion to the center projected to cost more than $20 million over four years.

The plan approved by the City Council, which also includes the purchase of the historic Palm School a block from the center, has an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. At its August 8 meeting, the council will consider the petition and can either pass it as an ordinance or put it before the public for a vote in the November elections.

Unconventional Austin told KUT that the clerk had certified almost 30,000 signatures on the petition.