Seagoville group will ask court to halt school demolition

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Updated Sunday, May 1 at 10:25 AM

Old Seagoville School

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SEAGOVILLE — Preservationists in Seagoville are fighting to protect a 100-year-old piece of history.

The city's historical commission plans to go to court on Monday morning to seek a temporary restraining order to throw a legal roadblock in front of bulldozers that are now on-site at the town's original school building for a controversial demolition project.

Many residents are speaking out against the decision to tear down the two-story red brick building in the 300 block of North Kaufman Street, saying this is one of the last remaining pieces of old Seagoville.

Two months ago, the Dallas Independent School District said it was planning to go ahead with demolition of the old schoolhouse, and on Saturday, the equipment arrived.

"We've worked too hard. We've worked too hard. This school means too much," said Pat Slayton, one of the Seagoville residents battling to save the building. "We're going to stay here. We're going to stay here."

Some neighbors and the Seagoville Historical Commission have been trying to save the run-down building, which was built in 1909.

DISD donated the property to the historical commission around six years ago. Since then, however, the building fell into disrepair when the former president of the commission fell ill.

The Seagoville City Council stepped in and condemned the building.

That's when DISD assumed control of the property and determined that it would be torn down.

Historical commmision spokeswoman Barbara Gibson asserts that it remains the legal owner of the building, and that's how it is listed on Dallas County property records.

"We've been in contact with the school board members about this issue and have not been able to get a resolution to it," Gibson said. "It's actually still in our name, and we want this stopped today."

But a DISD spokesperson maintains that it is the legal owner of the old Seagoville school and said they will go forward with the demolition because it is a safety hazard.

But action was postponed for the weekend pending the threatened court action.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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