Beaumont ISD must rethink plans to demolish South Park school

March, 23, 2010

The Beaumont ISD school board has lost the moral high ground in the battle over the South Park school. Once Judge Bob Wortham ruled that the district misled voters by promising to keep the school before the vote on the 2007 bond issue, the issue should have been decided.

Many Beaumonters will not care that the judge's ruling does not prohibit the district from demolishing the school if it doesn't use bond issue funds. Moreover, that very distinction is being challenged by the so-called "Greenies."

Instead of plowing ahead anyway, the board should seek a compromise. It could preserve the facade or the shell of the structure and still construct a modern building that would serve the new residents of the neighborhood for decades to come.

That's an option it has rejected so far, but it's still viable. The board must realize that it has created the dilemma it finds itself facing. Now, instead of flouting the public will, the board has to think of the bitterness that would be created if the school is torn down.

A decision on the Greenies' legal motion has been postponed until next Wednesday. The delay gives the board one last chance to step back from the brink. It must take advantage of it.