Judge: No bond money to bulldoze South Park

David Yates Jan. 12, 2010, 10:38am

For months, graduates of South Park High School waited in suspense while Judge Bob Wortham mulled over the fate of their old school building.

On Friday, Jan. 8, Wortham ruled against the Beaumont Independent School District, verbally ordering that none of the $389 million in funds from the 2007 bond election could be spent to tear down the 87-year-old campus.

In early August, Judge Wortham, 58th District Court, granted a temporary injunction requested by the Beaumont Heritage Society and former South Park student Eddie Estilette, determining that the evidence and testimony presented suggested that BISD may have misled voters in the 2007 bond election.

In July, the Beaumont Heritage Society had filed and obtained a temporary restraining order, claiming that pamphlets distributed by the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce leading up to the bond election stated the district would not tear down South Park, but would renovate the school.

Although South Park weathered three of the area's worst hurricanes and has stood since 1923, BISD adamantly claims the building cannot accommodate an expected influx of new middle school students.

Attorney Michael Getz represents the Heritage Society.

Attempts by the Southeast Texas Record to contact BISD attorney Melody Chappell regarding any district plans to appeal were unsuccessful.

Trial case No. D184-425

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