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Steady progress on one end of La Plancha land as arts school expands

Space for dance and music schools take form, but acres of future parkland remain wasteland

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
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Merida, Yucatan — While the land set aside for a park remains barren, the old train station is expanding space for the arts school that it houses.

A new shed connects train tracks to the historic train station, where the Higher School of Arts of Yucatán at La Plancha attracts visual artists.

The overhang resembles the original 1920s structure, with INAH making sure designs and materials are as true as possible to the original, said Jack Robinson, who for years has promoted turning the land into a park.

The old warehouses to the east and west of the tracks are being rebuilt. To the east will be music classes, and the dance school will be to the west. Another line of abandoned warehouses further to the east have not been touched, but will possibly incorporate a drama school, as the state consolidates its arts colleges, said Robinson.

The progress was noted by a handful of guests recently invited to tour the construction site.

The tracks and platform between the warehouses will be a common space, and connect the school to the Gran Parque La Plancha, where acres of railroad yards are to be converted into a “Central Park.”

But work on those grounds appears halted since the new state government has taken hold. Old rail cars and debris are still visible from Calle 48.

Proponents of the project hail the concept for bringing green space to the center of the city, as well as being a new venue for cultural activities. But government officials have made no public statements to assure neighbors of the project’s future.

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