7/3 BISD Spokesperson Claims South Park Demolition Delay Will Cost Taxpayers More Money

Reported by: Angel San Juan
Friday, Jul 3, 2009 @02:16am

Jessie Haynes, who's the special assistant to the superintendent, had strong words against stopping the demolition of South Park Middle School. A Jefferson County district judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the historical school from being torn down until a hearing is held on the building's fate.

History buffs and school alumni want to save the facility. But BISD plans to demolish it, and build a new school. The plan is part of the district's bond proposal passed in 2007.

Beaumont attorney Mike Getz accuses the school board of misleading voters. He says board members had promised to conduct a cost analysis, but they never did. Getz also says an engineering study on the old building found it structurally viable.

The district had planned on demolishing it at the end of July.

We spoke to Haynes over the phone from California, where she's on vacation.

Haynes told Fox 4 that the judge who granted the temporary restraining order had apparently only heard one side of the issue.

She said if the fate of schools depended on historic value, then the district would have to stop building new schools. Haynes says Amelia and Caldwood elementaries also had historic significance. She says there've been plenty of historical schools that have had to be demolished for the betterment of the children.

Haynes said, "The bottom line is the well-being of the students."

Haynes went on to say, "Every day of delay is costing taxpayers more money." Haynes says it's important to remember that the public overwhelming passed the bond. She says voters were fully aware that if South Park school couldn't be renovated, it would be demolished.

Haynes says there were also several public hearings on the matter. She says the district did get a petition in favor of saving South Park, but she says the majority of the signatures were from people who don't live in the area.

The hearing on the future of South Park is scheduled for July 14th.