Forney ISD Alcohol for The OC Update

On February 9th 2024 All Things Forney released an article about the Forney ISD possibly seeking a license or the ability to have alcohol served inside the Keith Bell Opportunity Central (The OC). Since the article was released, more sources have come forward stating the Superintendent also said to them or in front of them that the ISD or that he was working on the possibility of having alcohol service inside The OC. One source stated that the superintendent was stating on February 10th to people he has never said anything to anyone about having alcohol for The OC. We wanted clarification as there are so many sources stating the school district was seeking the possibility alcohol service and wanted to ask the direct person named. Our staff emailed Dr. Justin Terry, Forney ISD’s superintendent, on February 12th 2024 with the following questions:

As of March 8th, 2024 we have received no response from Dr. Terry regarding our questions or a statement from the ISD regarding the interest of alcohol in The OC. We also made an open records request for any emails or text message from/to Dr. Terry and the Board of Trustees and received back the following on March 1st 2024, this text sent February 9th 2024 from the superintendent to the Board of Trustees regarding our article.

New sources that came forward after our article on Feb. 9th, stated the district was considering allowing tenants or caterers to hold a TABC license and serve after school hours such as their restaurants and special events when catering at The Opportunity Central. While the statement is that the district has not applied for a TABC license, it leaves out that they have been discussing and considering this option of alcohol in this school campus. The requirement from the district would be to seek a variance to the city ordinance of not allowing alcohol sales within 300′ of a school, church, or daycare which they currently are a school and daycare campus. In 2012 the Board of Trustees voted to approve a resolution that they are in opposition to any waivers or exceptions being granted concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages within the 300′ of school property, then filed it with the city and has continually referred to this resolution when applicants have applied for variances or exceptions with the city. This has been a point of contention with businesses who have attempted to come to downtown Forney on the southside of the downtown area as it’s within that 300′ of a building that used to be owned by First Baptist Church which was then sold to Forney ISD. The Board of Trustees would have to vote to abolish this resolution before any variance or exception could be taken on behalf of the school district to city council for alcohol service to be allowed inside The OC.

Update 3/11/24: added the date the opens records request was received

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes.