Hearing over South Park school demolition reset
Local residents hoping the courts will intervene and stop the demolition of South Park Middle School will have to wait a little longer for an outcome, as a hearing on the matter slated for Tuesday, July 14, has been reset. The case's presiding judge, 136th District Judge Milton Shuffield, is on vacation this week, a court employee said. The hearing has been reset for sometime in late July or early August. As the Southeast Texas Record reported, the Beaumont Heritage Society filed and obtained a temporary restraining order Wednesday, July 1, to save South Park Middle School from being bulldozed. That same day a formal demonstration protesting the Beaumont Independent School District's closure of the school was held on the footsteps of South Park Middle School. The dozens of protestors gathered at the school paraded signs and chanted "Let her stand." BISD planned to demolish the semi-historic building this summer as part of the district's $389 million bond issue. Although the school weathered three of the area's worst hurricanes and has stood since 1923, BISD claims the building cannot accommodate the influx of new middle school students. At the Wednesday protest slash press conference, Michael Getz, attorney for the Heritage Society, said the district mislead bond voters and is now going back on its promise not to tear down South Park Middle School. "Once the bond was passed and the board got the money they decided they can do with it as they please," said Getz. Getz claims BISD never bothered to perform a solid cost effective study on the difference between demolishing versus renovating the school.