Another Legal War Waged to Save West Dallas' Much-loved — and Much-needed — Community Center

The Bataan Community Center in West Dallas was quiet Monday. Same as the day before; same as today and the day after and the day after that. "And that breaks my heart," says Maria Lozada Garcia, a 51-year-old who grew up next door to the squat brick building that's slowly ceding to rot and lawsuits as it sits empty and locked most hours of the day.Until Monday morning, I hadn't seen Garcia since late February, when we first met at community center in the shadow of Trinity Groves. I had gone then to Bataan Street to write a column on how Garcia, head of the La Bajada Neighborhood Association, was fighting to reclaim the 78-year-old center from a man named Lucious Williams, who closed it in 2015 and now says it belongs to his namesake foundation.As it tried to sell the building and its surrounding 4.5 acres for $10 million, the Lucious L. Williams Foundation tried once to push out Garcia's Beyond Baseball Youth Foundation. Documents prepared by a realtor said the "highest and best use for this property is commercial development."The tussle has been filled with eviction cases and lawsuits, accusations that characters had been defamed, allegations of missing money and purloined property. I thought that all had come to an end in late May with a settlement that closed the case, forgave past offenses and transgressions and let Garcia and her Beyond Baseball Youth Foundation remain in place and in peace.   Continue reading...

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