Sunday, March 11, 2007

SAVE SOUTH PARK

I have not been posting much here, other than the occasional political post concerning National events, but I now want to shift gears a little bit -- well, a lot -- and focus on some local issue that has gotten my full attention. Rarely, if ever, have been too concerned with local politics. But now, it seems the school district is wanting to pass a very huge bond issue to revamp, remodel, repair, and rebuild schools around the city. Of these proposals, one is hitting very near and dear to my heart, South Park High School -- well, it's my alma mater. Sadly, it's now being used as a middle school.

Among their considerations, they have found it in their wisdom that perhaps tearing down that wonderful historical building might be in their best interest -- not tearing it down, then maybe closing it, abandoning it.

I have started my own letter writing campaign, but many, many other ex-students, alumni, people in the community have been making a loud outcry in opposition to to these options through their own letter writing and we've launched a petition drive which is going quite well.

This school building has been around since 1922, and the South Park school system was begun in 1915. This particular building was also the birthplace of our local Lamar University. Few if anyone is alive today who can remember when South Park did not exist or remember its beginnings. She even is adorned by a Texas Historical Marker, which to protect her from demolition, she must bear a National Historical marker, which we will be pursuing that avenue, as well.

But besides all that, the school is and has been a backbone of the community which has suffered immeasurably since it was deprived of a K-12 school system since 1986. Lots of politics involved in this whole issue that I won't go into now.

I have started a webpage, http://home.gt.rr.com/lumoto/southpark which leads to a printable, downloadable petition with an address to mail it to (you do not have to be a city resident to sign the petition or a SP graduate, only concerned), pictures of the school and around the neighborhood, YouTubes of News Broadcasts, letters written by me and fellow "Greenies," South Park alumni, short articles of history of the community and the school, and other related links.

Among those links is http://southparkgreenies.com/, an Alumni Association site where all "Greenies" are encouraged to register, post pictures, news, find old friends, and even see who has passed away.

Also, KFDM, a local TV station has a forum where at present three active threads are dealing with this issue:

Save South Park (started by me)

BISD Bond Issue (general discussion, but I started SP concerns at pg 6)

BISD Bond Plan Threatens Historical South Park School

If you have any interest in South Park, the school, the community, or even Beaumont as a city, please visit these sites. While you're at it, leave me a note here or email me at lumoto@msn.com. I'd love to hear from you.

The Greenie Fight Never Dies


Go Greenies!

3 Comments:

At 11/03/2007 11:57:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 3 magic words which BISD could favor us with before the bond election on Tuesday. Those
words are "NATIONAL HISTORIC
REGISTRY" for the South Park Main Bldg., either so placed by BISD, or by someone that will assume responsibility for the Bldg. Why is this so hard? What is there about these 3 little words that frightens BISD? If we find a permanent tenant(and we likely have), BISD does not have to pay to tear it down or maintain it.

 
At 9/17/2009 01:34:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sherry - don't be so quick to discredit SP as a middle school because that's where I went (93-96)and I love the building as much as the SPH alumni as do many of my classmates. And I am fighting very hard presently to save the school building - because that's what's truly important here - that the building is saved. But I do agree that there would be more community support it we were fighting to save a high school.

 
At 9/17/2009 02:05:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the National Historic Registry - there is the Executive Order 13287 "Preserve America" signed by Pres. George W. Bush in 2003, establishing federal policy to provide resources, including economic ones, by actively advancing the protection, enhancement and contemporary use of historic properties. And heritage tourism has been on the Beaumont agenda for some time.

 

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