Culinary Arts School project charette

Special to the PRESS

February 5, 2015

The City of Port Isabel is proud to announce and invites the public to attend the Port Isabel Culinary Arts and Hospitality School – First Phase Charrette on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  at the Port Isabel Events and Cultural Center.   Charrette is a public meeting to share and receive input from the general public, business owners, residents, schools and the hospitality and culinary industries.

The City of Port Isabel through an Economic Department of Agriculture grant received $1.5 million toward the purchase and stabilization of the historic Port Isabel Yacht Club to be restored to its original splendor and used as a culinary school, restaurant, incubator, museum, and boutique hotel. City Staff continues to raise more funds through grants, tax credit programs, and sponsors. S.T.A.R. Consulting from Laredo and McAllen are the architects for  this project.

During the Charrette experts from the field of architecture, culinary arts, preservation restoration, and tourism will present their ideas and would like to hear from the public and partners as well. Speakers  include the following:



Ford Powell & Carson is a multi-disciplinary design firm based in San Antonio, Texas. FPC was founded by O’Neil Ford in 1939 and in the subsequent years has won more than 160 design awards for work in urban design, campus planning, architecture, interior design, and historic preservation. The firm’s notable work includes the restoration of the Texas Capitol Building, the Texas Governor’s Mansion, San Antonio’s San Fernando Cathedral and all of its Spanish Colonial mission churches including the Alamo. FPC designed San Antonio’s iconic Tower of the Americas for the City’s HemisFair, a transformative moment in San Antonio’s history.

Ford Powell & Carson has an extensive portfolio of work for public clients from the Federal Government to the State of Texas, a number of county governments in Texas including our native Bexar County, and the City of San Antonio. Our work for public clients includes the northward extension of San Antonio’s famous River walk, the restoration of the Bexar County Courthouse and the Justice Center adjacent to it, the City of San Antonio’s Public Safety Headquarters, and the City of San Antonio’s historic Plaza de Armas buildings.


FPC has been designing projects for higher education for over 60 years, including the master plans for Trinity University, New York’s Skidmore College, UTSA’s main campus and it’s downtown campus, and  the entirely new Northeast Lakeview Campus for San Antonio’s Alamo College District. The firm has produced several buildings for the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M System as well as Texas Tech University and Texas State University among many other higher education projects on 22 different campuses.


FPC provides a broad range of services from planning and programming through historic preservation, architectural and interior design, and construction administration. Our work includes large residential commissions, often on ranches in the Southwest, and the design of fine arts projects for San Antonio’s McNay and Witte museums as well as other galleries and performing arts spaces.

Gary Coombs, AIA:

Native South Texan Gary Coombs has three decades of experience designing and supervising construction for buildings in the region, including the gulf coast. Gary has more than two decades of experience working in Galveston alone, where his work in the Strand Historic District and other parts of the island included restoration and adaptive re-use projects for the ornate Sealy Building, Berlocher Building, Galvez Hotel, and the reconstruction of the fire ravaged Washington Hotel.  His other Galveston work entails mitigating Hurricane Ike damage to the University of Texas Medical Branch there. He is involved in technically challenging and complex projects adapting the campus infrastructure to protect it from expected tidal surges in the future. Gary approaches his work as a careful listener, patient translator of design intent into reality, and mentor to younger architects. He is an avid fisherman with an abiding love for coastal Texas.

Allison Chambers, LEED AP:

Allison is an Associate at Ford, Powell & Carson and a Project Manager for the Historic Preservation Department.  With degrees in both Architecture and Historic Preservation she approaches each project with a unique design perspective and the desire to see historic buildings utilized to their full potential.  During her seven years at FPC, she has managed numerous large scale historic projects including the restoration and addition to the South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, the restoration of Austin Hall at Sam Houston State University, and the repainting of the Exterior Dome and House Chamber ceiling interior at the Texas State Capitol.  As a LEED Accredited Professional she works to incorporate sustainable design strategies into historic buildings through sensitive measures that blend harmoniously with the historic features.  Allison’s LEED projects include the restoration of the U.S. Post Office and Federal Courts Building in San Antonio, and the restoration and addition to the Texas Governor’s Mansion.  Allison currently serves on the Board of the San Antonio Conservation Society and is the Chair of AIA San Antonio’s Historic Resources Committee.

For more information contact Ed Meza at (956) 943-2682.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.