Preservationists Insist "Some Good" Has Come Out of Mediation With DISD Concerning the Fate of Oak Cliff Christian Church

It's been exactly two months since Unfair Park broke the news that the Dallas Independent School District had purchased the old Oak Cliff Christian Church on 10th Street with the intention of razing Charles Bulger's nearly century-old structure to build tennis courts, most likely, for the new-and-improved Adamson High School. In that time, the district removed the asbestos, tore out the windows and cut off the gas. District officials, who refused to discuss the purchase with the media, had hoped to introduce the building to the wrecking ball by now. As board president Adam Medrano told Unfair Park two days before Christmas, "I am not sure what can be done at this point" to save the building.

Instead, DISD attorneys were met by preservationists -- and their attorney -- who've managed to stave off the inevitable thanks in large part to Judge Martin Hoffman, who last week told the two sides to get with a mediator and sort out this mess. Which is precisely what they did yesterday: In an e-mail sent this morning, John McCall Jr., the attorney for the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League and a past president, says five DISD representatives and four from the OOCCL met Friday from 1:30 p.m. till close to 9 p.m. to hash out an agreement. Which is ...? Neither McCall nor OOCCL president Michael Amonett will say at present. They promise instead that an answer is coming by no later than Wednesday, when the two parties will turn over to the court whatever agreement they reached last night.

Nonetheless, writes McCall, they've agreed to cancel a hearing in front of Hoffman scheduled for February 19. And there is this clue contained within:

OOCCL was focused on two options, while DISD was allegedly only abiding by a court order to be there. At our opening joint statement, OOCCL made it clear we were hoping for closure at Mediation. After hours and hours of negotiating, both sides came to an agreement. Part of the agreement includes a JOINT PRESS RELEASE to be made after papers are filed in the courthouse. ...

In respect to our agreement, that is all I can share at this time, but naturally if we are canceling Friday, you can infer that we feel some good has come out of the exercise.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky