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Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of the Pflugerville Independent School District’s Proposed Timmeran Elementary School and Regional Stadium Tracts, Pflugerville, Travis County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) was selected by Pflugerville Independent School District (ISD) to conduct an intensive cultural resources inventory and assessment of the proposed locations of Pflugerville ISD’s Timmeran Elementary School and Regional Stadium. The proposed Timmeran Elementary School tract consists of an approximately 6.6-hectare (16.3- acre) tract located northeast of and adjacent to the proposed Regional Stadium tract, which covers an area of approximately 15.0 hectares (37.1 acres). These adjacent tracts are located northwest of the intersection of Swenson Farms Boulevard and Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 1825, also known as West Pecan Street, in Pflugerville, Williamson County, Texas. For purposes of the cultural resources survey, the project area is assumed to consist of the combined 6.6-hectare (16.3-acre) Timmeran Elementary School tract and the 15.0-hectare (37.1-acre) Regional Stadium tract, which together cover an area of 21.6 hectares (53.4 acres).
The proposed undertaking is being sponsored by Pflugerville ISD, which represents a political subdivision of the state of Texas, on land owned by Pflugerville ISD; as such, the project falls under the jurisdiction of the Antiquities Code of Texas (Texas Natural Resources Code of 1977, Title 9, Chapter 191). In addition, the proposed project may require permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA); as such, the project would additionally fall under the jurisdiction of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended (P.L. 89-665; 80 Stat. 915; 16 USC §470 et seq.). As the project represents a publicly sponsored undertaking with the potential to impact significant cultural resources, Pflugerville ISD is required to provide for a cultural resources inventory of the project area.
On March 4, 2015, Horizon archeological technicians Briana Nicole Smith and Jared Wiersema, under the overall direction of Jeffrey D. Owens, Principal Investigator, performed an intensive cultural resources survey of the project area to locate any cultural resources that potentially would be impacted by the proposed undertaking. Horizon’s archeologists traversed the combined 21.6-hectare (53.4-acre) project area in parallel, linear transects spaced no more than 30.5 meters (100.0 feet) apart and thoroughly inspected the modern ground surface for aboriginal and historic-age cultural resources. The project area consists of an open, upland field that appears to have been used as farmland or pasturage in the past. Vegetation consists of sporadic clump grasses with scattered cedar, live oak, and hackberry trees. An unnamed tributary of Gilleland Creek flows northeastwards near the southeastern boundary of the project area. This tributary is shallowly incised into local bedrock and does not have any adjacent alluvial structures.
A gravel driveway enters the tract in the southwestern corner from FM 1825 and traverses the project area from southwest to northeast, paralleling its northwestern boundary. Formerly, this driveway provided access to a mid-20th-century farmstead formerly located on the tract to the northeast of the project area, but this farmstead is no longer extant. Remnant soils were relatively thin across the project area, typically consisting of shallow gravelly clay and clay loam, and limestone gravels and exposed bedrock were observed on the modern ground surface in many areas. The cultural resources survey was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7205.
In addition to pedestrian walkover, the Texas State Minimum Archeological Survey Standards (TSMASS) require the excavation of 1 shovel test per 2 acres for project areas measuring between 11 and 100 acres in size; thus, a minimum of 27 shovel tests were required within the 21.6-hectare (53.4-acre) project area to meet the TSMASS. Horizon excavated a total of 27 shovel tests during the survey, thereby meeting the TSMASS for a project area of this size.
No cultural resources, historic or prehistoric, were identified within the project area as a result of the survey, including any cultural materials that potentially would have been associated with a mid-20th-century farmstead formerly located on the tract to the northeast of the current project area. This farmstead once consisted of as many as 5 standing structures, including 1 outbuilding that would have fallen within the northwestern corner of the current project area, though all of the buildings had been demolished or moved by 2006. No evidence of this former farmstead was observed within the current project area during the survey.
Based on the results of the survey-level investigations documented in this report, no potentially significant cultural resources would be affected by the proposed undertaking. In accordance with 36 CFR 800.4, Horizon has made a reasonable and good-faith effort to identify historic properties within the project area. No cultural resources were identified within the project area that meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) according to 36 CFR 60.4 or for designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL) according to 13 TAC 26, and no further archeological work is recommended in connection with the proposed undertaking. However, human burials, both prehistoric and historic, are protected under the Texas Health and Safety Code. In the event that any human remains or burial objects are inadvertently discovered at any point during construction, use, or ongoing maintenance in the project area, even in previously surveyed areas, all work should cease immediately in the vicinity of the inadvertent discovery, and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) should be notified immediately.
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