Cynthia Brictson and Michael Thurmond were on hand at the Austin Elementary School Council meeting Wednesday where John Jambro, Director of Design & Construction, delivered an Austin Replacement School Update.
Two things are perfectly clear; 1) The school district does not know what to do with the students during the rebuild. 2) The community would like a school with a capacity of 750 students and not a prototypical school with 900 students.
To that end, the district is currently performing a feasibility study to determine if renovation is a viable option. The output of the feasibility study will include
- Renovation and addition cost model
- Conceptual building plan
- Determination of a suitable location for a possible facility expansion
Austin ES Replacement/Renovation Timeline
|Identify Swing Space||Ongoing|
|Solicit Design Professional||Mar- June 2015|
|(New) Feasibility Study||Mar – April 2015|
|Planning / Design||June 2015 – April 2016|
|Decommission and Vacate Austin ES||May 2016|
|(Last day of classes)|
|Move to Swing Space Location||May 2016 – June 2016|
|(Aug ’16 School Year Start)|
|Demolition and Rebuild of Austin||Sept 2016 – June 2018|
|FFE & Equipment for Austin ES||July 2018|
|Occupy New Austin ES||August 2018|
2014 Dist 1 ES Enrollment & Capacity
Enrollment/Capacity Numbers in Oct 2014
|Ashford Park ES||574||563||102%||5|
|Cary Reynolds ES||1163||749||155%||21|
|Huntley Hills ES||493||532||93%||3|
Austin ES Projected Enrollment
- Facility Condition Assessments Reports – Assessments for every school in DCSD
- 2011 Comprehensive Facility Assessment Report – Summary of assessments, methodology and approach for making assessments
- 10-Year Facility Master Plan – 10 year plan for building and renovating schools
- Enrollment/Capacity Numbers in Oct 2014
From Nancy Jester
The 10-Year Facility Master Plan “did not consider capacity and projected growth when SPLOST IV projects were identified,” according to Nancy Jester, former DeKalb Schools board member. “The SPLOST process is political. The data was made to fit the predetermined decisions in order to justify the building list.”
She goes on to say,
“The DeKalb Board of Education sent a referendum to the voters that funds building new elementary schools where we will only need 40% of the current capacity. Yet, in areas that are already at 100% and projected to need much more, DeKalb is adding very little capacity. Many communities are looking at having trailers in perpetuity. Even if some of the capacity needs were addressed in the next SPLOST, effectively a generation of children will have gone through school in trailers.
When SPLOST IV ends, DeKalb’s taxpayers will have given the school district approximately $2 billion to build and improve schools. It is unconscionable that we have so many children in trailers throughout the district. The weight of this fact was not lost on me during the SPLOST IV process while I was on the board. This is the primary reason I voted against taking this referendum to the public.”
Thought they were moving KMS to avondale to put austin in nancy creek. That is the plan that was approved.
The SPLOST IV Proposed Organization Facilities Presentation indicates the system’s SPLOST IV management department made plans to use Kittredge ES as a swing space during the Austin ES rebuild and move Kittredge to Midway.
Austin’s projected numbers are ridiculous. The numbers published should be the numbers projected for the city of Dunwoody elementary schools as a whole. A 900 student school would relieve overcrowding in other Dunwoody elementary schools, so those numbers need to be considered. Next fall PCMS will have and ADDITIONAL 8 trailers and DHS will also have trailers. I don’t know about the elementary schools, but the numbers of children/families/people in Dunwoody is only going up!
Ridiculous projected enrollment! ANY new elementary school in Dunwoody must be built larger to help with handling the OVERALL number of ES children in the cluster. Current enrollment reports show that of the 6 elementary schools in our area 5 are over capacity. Only Chesnut is below 100%. Just because the Austin community doesn’t want to be larger doesn’t matter. It will be a complete waste of money to build that school any smaller than 900 student capacity.
I can understand Austin not wanting a 900 student school – who wouldn’t want to keep a smaller school? The fact is that this decision shouldn’t be Austin’s to make. DCSD is responsible for making decisions that are for the best for all students – in our cluster, the fact that overcrowding is allowed to continue for some schools while others are protected and still others (Chesnut) are choked to death by being TOO small to earn enough staff using the county’s staffing equation is just… what can one say? DCSD has never had the will to do what needs to be done in Dunwoody – stop protecting some schools at the expense of others when it comes to attendance lines. This does not bode well for Dunwoody City Schools – if Dunwoody cannot be responsive to what ALL of Dunwoody needs and continues to be factionalized around ES zones, how will we handle that any better?
I’ve updated the post with 2014 District 1 Elementary School Enrollment & Capacity numbers, links to related documents and some thoughts from former school board rep Nancy Jester.
The capacity for Chesnut is way off, something the community has argued for years. (Why would a school have portables if it was at 80 percent capacity.) It is a very small school building. This error makes me question every other school’s capacity.
Just look at Hightower’s growth and the other schools in the Doraville area in the last few years. Realize the development that is likely to come to the Doraville area because of the redevelopment of the GM property, it is clear that the school system is likely to face an epic crisis in a few years in terms of physical space. Addressing this would require planning — not something the system does very well (or at all) I am afraid.