Old church to be demolished, neighbors outraged - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

84 year old Lubbock church to be demolished, neighbors outraged

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A Lubbock church more than 80 years old will be demolished over the next few weeks, and the South Overton Lubbock Association is outraged by the decision to destroy what they call a historic part of Lubbock.

The Calvary Baptist Church on 19th Street and Avenue T was build in the late 1920s, but over the last decade has been used as a storage facility for a local plumbing company.

About a year ago the property was purchased by the Lubbock Independent School District as part of their security and safety plan approved by voters in the 2010 bond election.

The church is directly east of Lubbock High's cafeteria and as part of the bond plan for closed campus lunches, the church will be demolished for cafeteria expansion and additional parking.

"We've had a problem in our neighborhood. People just come in and they decided we're going to do this and that, and residents here are really never consulted," said Brad Clardy, South Overton Neighborhood Association president. "To have it torn down for a parking lot is really an outrage, and it is a complete waste."

Clardy along with another neighborhood association member Robert Brodkin have been in contact with LISD's Superintendent Karen Garza about the demolition for about a month… hoping to change the school districts mind.

"It's just plain stupid. It's a waste and misuse of tax payer dollars to take a building that's existing and usable that should be used for something worthwhile. It doesn't make the least bit of sense," said Brodkin.

Brodkin and Clardy are fine with LISD tearing down the addition the church that was build decades later, but want to salvage the sanctuary with a bell tower and courtyard. They say the old building can still be saved while LISD says otherwise in this written statement:

"Missing windows and roof leads had exposed it to weather damage and infiltration by birds and rodents. The building has been evaluated by architects and engineers, with all agreeing that it would not be cost efficient or practical to remodel the existing structure. After additional analysis, it was apparent to maintain and renovate the sanctuary alone would cost significant dollars while not meeting a district need. Parking will also be added on the property to reduce the number of LHS students crossing 19th Street to park."

Demolition equipment is already on the property and LISD officials say construction will begin over the next few weeks.

While the old church may be one of Lubbock's oldest churches, it has not been deemed a historical land marker by the state.   

"A lot of the historical marker things, well people have to take some sort of initiative to get that done. There hasn't really been any advocate for this building," said Clardy. "It's not too late now, this doesn't need to happen. These people should cease and desist."

Clardy and Brodkin encourage anyone wanting to help save the building to call them at 806-535-9317 or at 806-317-9017.

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