BEAUMONT, Texas — Big changes are on the way for Beaumont ISD'S Memorial Stadium. It appears the stadium will get a new name following a series of votes from the school board.
The school board met Thursday night to consider changing the name of the Beaumont Independent School District’s Memorial Stadium again.
The motion passed to change the name, but school officials didn’t specify if it would be back to Carrol “Butch” Thomas.
Four people voted in favor of the name change, two voted against and one person abstained.
Before the 4 to 2 vote, members heard from people on both sides of the issue.
"If you're going to do anything with the name to sell the naming rights and bring in some much-needed revenue,” said Beaumont City councilman Mike Getz.
"The naming of the stadium had nothing to do with our children's education. If this actually had to be done by an elected board of trustees I would not be standing here tonight,” said another meeting attendee.
After the motion passed, the board went into an executive session to meet with their attorney.
They returned and rescinded the original 4-2 vote, before finally deciding to consider selling the naming rights. The subsequent motion, which passed 5-2, resulted in the decision to have the superintendent meet with Beaumont ISD’s facilities committee to look into selling the naming rights for the stadium.
This is the third time in four years the school board has discussed the renaming of the Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium.
The stadium first opened in 2010 and was named after Carrol "Butch" Thomas the school district's first black superintendent.
In 2018, Beaumont ISD voted to change the name to Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium. This came three years after a forensic audit revealed Thomas and his administration mismanaged a $389 million bond back in 2007 which funded the stadium.
Then last year, the Beaumont ISD school board brought the subject up again.
Several members wanted to bring back the 'Butch.’ The name change was rejected and the name 'Memorial Stadium' still stands.
Thursday night, they're once again discussing changing the name. Will that include back to the 'Butch'? That remains a mystery.
Board members 12News reached out to this week declined to comment.
Earlier this week Crenshaw Law Firm sent a letter to the Beaumont ISD board president and several others threatening to sue.
The letter states an anonymous donor made a considerable donation to Beaumont in 2018 in exchange for permanently renaming Memorial Stadium.
12News reached out to Corey Crenshaw, the attorney who wrote the letter. He declined to comment at this time.
12news filed an open record request to find out which board members requested this agenda item. We've learned it was Kevin Reece and Stacey Lewis Jr.
Stick with 12News for more updates.
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