Ella Austin Community Center on East Side to see $23M renovation

SAN ANTONIO – The Ella Austin Community Center is expected to see some major renovations starting early next year.

The center is a community hub and offers services to its community youth and seniors. The center has been operating since the early 1970′s, says Jessica Dovalina, assistant human services director.

At the end of 2024, the city of San Antonio will begin a $23 million dollar renovation process, $11.5 million of which was approved through the 2022 Bond. The rest is funded through the Inner City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funds.

Luis Maltos with the Public Works Department said the majority of the buildings will be demolished except for the main building, which just turned 100-years-old.

“We’re basically gutting the entire main building, re-doing all the plumbing, all the electrical, all the HVAC systems. So, we’ll probably be building a new 38,000 square foot facility,” Maltos said.

The current services offered there by nonprofits will have to find another temporary location.

“They’re actually going to be right now looking at space to move some of their programing, so that we can minimize the impact,” Dovalina said.

The construction should be wrapped up in 18 months, so expect a ribbon-cutting by summer 2026.

The center is named for Ella Austin.

“She was, a founder of an orphanage on the East Side, and she really was one of the pioneers in providing community, neighborhood based programing on the East Side,” Dovalina said. “And so, the center is named after her to kind of continue that legacy that she started.”

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