Judge Martin Hoffman this morning ordered the Dallas school district into mediation with the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League so that the parties might "find a common ground" regarding use of the Oak Cliff Christian Church.
DISD wants to demolish the 95-year-old building on 10th Street near Crawford to build tennis courts for the planned new Adamson High School. Hoffman said he didn’t want to pressure DISD, but "this is obviously a beautiful building," he said, and asked whether it would be possible for DISD to incorporate the building into its plans for a new school.
DISD attorney Robert E. Luna said: "There’s nothing here to mediate," adding that the buildling must be torn down.
So Hoffman ordered the two sides to meet with a mediator before a hearing that’s set for Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m.
Conservation league attorney John McCall said there’s no reason for DISD to be acting with urgency to build tennis courts in a neighborhood where the school district has not yet purchased the surrounding properties to build the actual school.
"They have a hard argument why [tennis courts have to] go there and why the building has to be destroyed." he said after the hearing. "Mediation is always good."
At the hearing in two weeks, McCall is expected to argue that putting tennis courts in place of the church would be a public nuissance, along with his original argument, which contends that DISD cannot use federal funds to destroy a historic structure.