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					July 6-12, 2007 The Examiner                                                                                                                                               7A

Greenies irate over demolition proposal
By Jerry Jordan                                                                                             to perform.                        ROTC Building with bond
News Editor                                                                                                    ÒThat would be something        money. That roof had already
                                                                                                            that would be very lengthy         been replaced with insurance
   The Beaumont Indepen-                                                                                    and too costly to undertake at     money from Hurricane Rita,Ó
dent School District spent                                                                                  this point,Ó Jordan said. ÒI       Neild said at the time. ÒThey
more than $34 million to turn                                                                               couldnÕt give you a dollar         also said the district needed to
the former Hebert High                                                                                      amount.Ó                           spend $31,000 to replace the
School into the current Ozen                                                                                   When asked why the com-         sidewalks in J-Hall, that all of
facility just over a decade ago,                                                                            pany could come up with a          the windows in J-Hall needed
but hundreds of former South                                                                                number as to how much it           to be replaced, that the wall
Park Greenies were recently                                                                                 would cost to replace a struc-     finishes in J-Hall were
outraged when a report from                                                                                 ture and not one as to how         beyond their useful life, that
Parsons-3D/I, a Houston-                                                                                    much it would cost to reno-        the electrical terminals in J-
based condition assessment                                                                                  vate a structure, Jordan said,     Hall were beyond their useful
and construction company,                                                                                   ÒThe processes are different.Ó     life and that the lighting and
suggested that renovating                                                                                      ÒI can agree with the feel-     wiring in J-Hall needed to be
South Park Middle School                                                                                    ings and attitudes of the com-     replaced.
would be too costly.                                                                                        munity, and I agree with some         ÒFirst there are few, if any,
   The recommendation was                                                                                   of them, but the requirements      windows at West Brook,
to raze the current middle                                                                                  of this study were not to com-     much less in J-Hall. And J-
school that once served as                                                                                  pare one to another,Ó Jordan       Hall is a hallway inside the
South Park High School                                                                                      said. ÒIt would be difficult, if   school. It doesnÕt have a side-
rather than remodel the build-                                                                              not impossible, to come up         walk. The electrical outlets
ing, which has stood the tests                                                                              with an exact number.Ó             are fine. They just need to be
of time since the 1920s and                                                                                    In 3D/IÕs assessment of         cleaned. The lighting is OK,
has a pedigree that includes                                                                                replacement costs that it used     and the walls are lined with
being the original site of what                                                                             to develop a $450 million          lockers, so how can the wall
is known today as Lamar Uni-                                                                                bond proposal that is current-     finishes be beyond their use-
versity.                                                                                                    ly being reviewed by a bond        ful life? These are just some
   The report, provided to the                                                                              committee, the company esti-       of the problems that we were
district on June 21, states,                                                                                mated that it would cost $30.7     able to point out with what
Òthe bottom line is that both                                                                               million to tear down and           3D/I has presented.Ó
CSF Engineers and Parsons-                                                                                  rebuild South Park.                   Neild told The Examiner in
3D/I would recommend                                                                Photo by Jerry Jordan      Using the numbers from          March that his findings
replacement of the South Park      An engineering report recommends demolition despite the                  3D/I the 103,579 square-foot       caused him to have serious
Middle School as opposed to        finding that the building is structurally sound.                         school would cost more than        concerns about the accuracy
a renovation.Ó                                                                                              $300 per square foot to            of the study and whether or
   One of the primary contrib-     costly to renovate. After care-    and I questioned Dr. Teuscher         rebuild.                           not 3D/I actually went room-
utors of the reportÕs conclu-      ful review of the systems that     on the numbers from 3D/I                 Throughout the nation           to-room as they promised in
sion was the age of the facili-    would be necessary to              because they didnÕt seem              schools are being built at a       their contract with BISD.
ty. But the report included no     replace, it is apparent that the   right, and then they redid the        half of that cost. Additionally,      He said he was shocked
numbers for a comparison of        costs to renovate would be         numbers, and they came up             several local engineers ques-      when he heard one of the
how much it would cost to          significantly greater than the     with a new report. It was             tioned for this article said a     employees from 3D/I tell him
renovate the school versus         cost to build new.Ó                amazing. If these people are          close review of 3D/IÕs num-        that they had climbed into
demolishing it. More trou-            Opposition to the report is     going to spend our money              bers would reveal further          every attic and every base-
bling for some was that the        strong and a group of South        then the numbers need to be           errors and inflated costs.         ment in BISD. Because most
report is contradictory in that,   Park alumni have created a         right, but they were wrong.              Representations that 3D/I       schools in BISD have flat
despite the recommendation         Web site and formed a peti-        Something funny is going on,          made to school district offi-      roofs, there arenÕt too many
to bulldoze the building, it       tion drive to keep the school      thatÕs all I can say about it.Ó       cials in January had to be         attics and only one campus,
was found to be structurally       intact.                               When questioned about              changed when it was deter-         that of Central High School,
sound.                                ÒWe better start tearing        why there were no numbers to          mined that most of their find-     has what could be considered
   ÒEnclosed in the final          down half the things in Wash-      compare the cost of demoli-           ings were incorrect. Then in       a basement.
report along with supporting       ington DC,Ó said Lou Bodden        tion and building new to the          March, just before the Com-           ÒWe need something to fix
photos of CSFÕs findings for       Buxton, a 1965 graduate of         cost of renovating the school,        munity Advisory Bond Com-          the problems in this district,
your review and considera-         South Park High School.            3D/IÕs Jordan said the compa-         mittee was about to consider       and we will back that if it is
tion,Ó states a letter to BISD     ÒYou just donÕt throw away         ny was not hired to come up           putting a bond proposal in         fiscally responsible,Ó Neild
Superintendent           Carrol    something because it is old.       with numbers for this project.        front of voters, it was again      said. ÒWe canÕt stop the board
Thomas from Parsons-3D/I           There is so much history in           ÒThat analysis was not             found that 3D/IÕs numbers          from putting this bond pro-
project manager Johnnie Jor-       that school, you canÕt just        geared around that,Ó Jordan           were incorrect.                    posal up for a vote, but if they
dan. ÒTheir findings indicate      throw it away. If you go back      said. ÒWe were asked to get a            Local contractor Tom            come out using this informa-
that the basic structure of the    and find out about its history,    third party to look at whether        Neild, of H.B. Neild & Sons        tion that we have discovered,
main building appears to be        you will see that South Park       renovation was more feasible          Construction Co., helped to        we are going to actively cam-
sound and in generally good        was there before Beaumont          than tearing it down. There           point out numerous inaccura-       paign against it. We need to
condition. However, if the dis-    was. That was a community          were no requirements for              cies that he found in 3D/IÕs       do something realistic and
trictÕs intent is to retain the    that was here before Beau-         numbers.Ó                             numbers.                           responsible.Ó
historical appearance and val-     mont, back when the area was          Jordan said that such a               ÒWhen we went to West              The companyÕs numbers
ue of this building it would       known as Spindletop.               study would cost thousands of         Brook, 3D/I had called for a       were even more suspect after
become difficult and more             ÒSome of my classmates          dollars and be too expensive          roof to be replaced at the             See IRATE on page 10 A
10 A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         July 6-12, 2007 The Examiner

                                                                                                                                                      450 E. FRWY • VIDOR
                                                                                                                                            WE STAND BEHIND WHAT WE SELL!
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hantavirus confirmed in area
                                                                                                                                                                                                     By Shauna OÕBrien
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Staff Writer                        Hantavirus Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                                        After only four days of             ¥ Keep a clean home, especially kitchen (wash dishes,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     complaining of flu-like symp-       clean counters and floor, keep food covered in rodent-proof
                                                                                                                                                           INTERNET SPECIAL
                                  Live Local, Have a Job, Have Some Cash Down, Come by and See Us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                     toms, 29-year-old Allen             containers).
                                                                                                                                                                                                     ÒJoeyÓ Bruce of Beaumont               ¥ Keep a tight-fitting lid on garbage, discard uneaten pet
                                                                                                                                                                                                     died of hantavirus pulmonary        food at end of the day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     syndrome (HPS).                        ¥ Set and keep spring-loaded rodent traps. Set traps near
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bruce, who is survived by        baseboards because rodents tend to run along walls and in
                                                                                                           NEW ‘07 Tahoe                                    NEW ‘07 ProCraft                         his wife and two sons, died
                                                                                                     19’ 4.3 LITER V6 MECRUISER CUSTOM                  20.5’ BASS, 225HP MERCURY OPTIMAX,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     April 21 at Memorial Her-           tight spaces rather than out in the open.
                                                                                                     GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER                   $22,995     CUSTOM GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER        $35,500
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mann Baptist Hospital. What            ¥ Set EPA-approved rodenticide with bait with Òcovered
                                                                                                                                                                                                     had reportedly seemed similar       bait stations.Ó Follow instructions carefully.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     to a common cold was actual-           ¥ Seal all entry holes 1/4 inch wide or wider with lath
                                                                                                                                                                                                     ly a deadly virus, one that has     screen or other patching materials, inside and out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     not been detected in Jefferson
                                                                                                                                                                                                     County since 1996, according        Outdoors
                                                                                                     NEW ‘07 Tahoe S Sport                                NEW ‘07 Mako 181                           to the Beaumont Public                 ¥ Clear brush, grass and junk from around house founda-
                                                                                                     19.5’ 190HP 4.3 LITER V6 MECRUISER,                BAY SHARK 18’, CENTER CONSOLE,        ,995   Health Department.                  tions to eliminate a source of nesting materials.
                                                                                                     CUSTOM GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER           $21,995      90HP MERCURY, GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER $16
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Texas Department of             ¥ Use metal flashing around the base of wooden, earthen or
                                                                                                                                                                                                     State Health Services (DSHS)        adobe homes to provide a strong metal barrier. Install so that
                                                                                                                                                                                                     states that hantavirus was first    the flashing reaches 12 inches above the ground and six inch-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     detected in the United States at    es down into the ground
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the Four Corners of the South-         ¥ Elevate hay, woodpiles and garbage cans to eliminate pos-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     west Ñ Colorado, New Mexi-          sible nesting sites. If possible, locate them 100 feet or more
                                                                                                            NEW ‘07 Fisher                                  NEW ‘07 Procraft                         co, Arizona and Utah Ñ in           from house.
                                                                                                                                           $15,995                                        $16,995    May 1993. The first reported
                                                                                                     18’ PONTOON, 50HP MERCURY,                         16.5 PRO 165, 90HP MERCURY,
                                                                                                     GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER                                GALVA-SHEILD TRAILER                                                               ¥ Trap rodents outside. Poisons may be used, but be sure
                                                                                                                                                                                                     case in Texas was also in 1993.     to keep them out of the reach of kids or pets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rodents such as rats and            ¥ Encourage the presence of natural predators, such as
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mice carry HPS, which has           non-poisonous snakes, owls and hawks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     symptoms such as fever,                ¥ Getting rid of all rodents isnÕt feasible, but with effort
                                                                                                                                                                                                     chills, headache, stomach
                                                                                                                                                                                                     pain and vomiting. The              you can keep the population low.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     National Center for Infectious                                                       Source: www.cdc.gov
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Diseases states that the princi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     pal carrier is the deer mouse.     ineffective against viral infec-   them, making sure to always
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The transmission mode of        tions, but taking certain meas-    Òdouble-bag and seal dead
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the virus is primarily air-        ures can prevent contracting       rats or mice, nests or drop-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     borne. It is usually contained     HPS. The health department         pings in plastic bagsÓ before
                                                                                                                                                                                                     in the droppings, urine and        warns that it is important to      disposal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     saliva of rodents, according to    remember to Òtightly close            The health department also
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the DSHS. The virus then           garbage cans, pet food con-        suggests that people contact
                                                                                                                                                                                                     takes to the air via dust parti-   tainers and other food sources     their local health care provider
                                                                                                                                                                                                     cles and can be inhaled by         for rats and mice.Ó It also        if hantavirus is suspected.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     humans. The virus cannot be        helps to wear protective
                                                                                                                                                                                                     transmitted through person-        gloves and a dust-mask and to          Shauna OÕBrien can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           reached at (409) 832-1400, ext.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     to-person contact.                 wash those items before            248, or at shauna@theexamin-
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Traditional antibiotics are     removing and disposing of          er.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     from page 7 A
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Examiner bought the            ous as to why the numbers          to spend that money. That is
                                                                                                                                                                                                     same computer program, RS          from 3D/I keep changing.           the peopleÕs money, and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Means, that was used to esti-         ÒIf you go to the grocery       district needs to be on a budg-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mate the costs to replace          store, and you get a basket of     et. If it is going to cost ÔXÕ to
                                                                                                                                                                                                     buildings in BISD. Using the       groceries, and there is no         build a new school, and it is
                                                                                                                                                                                                     exact same criteria as 3D/I,       price when you get to the reg-     going to cost ÔYÕ to renovate,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the newspaper came up with         ister, and the checkout person     then we need to know those
                                                                                                                                                                                                     costs that were different than     says, ÔJust pay this set amount    numbers. The district would
                                                                                                                                                                                                     3D/I.                              and take your groceries            rather destroy South Park
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buxton said she had             home,Õ are you going to do         than tell how much it would
                                                                                                                                                                                                     reviewed all of the material       that?Ó Buxton asked. ÒWe           cost to fix it.Ó
                                                                                                                                                                                                     that she could get her hands       donÕt run our homes that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     on from BISD and 3D/I about        Why should we run our                 For an editorial addressing this
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the plan to demolish South         school district that way?          topic, see page 29 A in this weekÕs
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Park. She said she is also curi-   Show me how you are going          The Examiner.

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