One of the surprise winners in the 2012 bond process had been the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center – a 40-year-old mini community located in one of San Antonio's most impoverished working-class communities and dedicated to preserving the area's heritage, from indigenous to Mexicano to mestizo. Originally recommended for zip by the City staff who prepare the preliminary lists, the Guadalupe was awarded $1.845 million by the Facilities and Community Initiatives committee after a moving presentation by students and a bus tour in which committee members got to see the aging City-owned facility for themselves.
But Thursday, when Council approved the final $596-million list of projects for the May bond election, it reduced that award by more than half, redistributing $750,000 to a District 5 senior center and $250,000 to Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. Changes to the bond recommendations at this stage in the process are initiated within districts by each Council member. D5 rep David Medina didn't contact the Guadalupe beforehand to discuss his plans or give its staff a chance to defend its windfall.
The Guadalupe plans to leverage the bond money it receives to raise funding to build four new classrooms and renovate the historic pharmacy on its grounds into offices and a community museum. Guadalupe Director Patty Ortiz – who's credited with re-energizing the center and overcoming a reputation for debilitating infighting in just three short years – learned about the changes at Wednesday's Council B Session.