Cost Estimates – Planning and Feasibility Study Options

The purpose of the Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study is to develop long-term plans for addressing capacity needs of the district’s middle schools and high schools.  The study will identify the challenges and opportunities facing each middle school and high school, determine options to address the needs identified, and prepare regional master plans to implement the options.

  DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
  Chamblee Magnet Program – Is it moving?

From these four options, over the next few weeks, the steering committee members will put together and recommend one (unchanged or modified) option to take to the public at the 3rd and final round of public input on Aug 23 and Aug 25 .

What would you name Brookhaven's new elementary school in Skyland?

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Round 3 Public Input Meetings:

  • Tues, Aug 23 @ 6:30pm in the auditorium at Clarkston HS
  • Thurs, Aug 25 @ 6:30pm in the gymnasium at Cross Keys HS

The regional master plans will be presented to the Board of Education for approval as input for the development of the 2017-2022 E-SPLOST program.

Steering Committee Meetings
In June, five Regional Steering Committee meetings were held with two representatives from each of the forty middle and high schools included in the study. They studied and discussed these Cost Estimates for the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

Based on 2022 Enrollment Projections









Pros & Cons
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 25, 2016 – Committees consisting of steering committee members and two representatives from each of the forty middle and high schools studied and discussed these pros and cons of the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

Cost Estimates
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 20, 2016 – Based on 2022 enrollment projections, the Steering Committee discussed these Cost Estimates for the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
July 18, 2016 – The study will identify the challenges and opportunities facing each middle school and high school, determine options to address the needs identified, and prepare regional master plans to implement the options. Here are the problems, the funds and the options.

Chamblee Magnet Program – Is it moving?
July 13, 2016 – Any truth to the rumor of moving the magnet program from Chamblee Middle and Chamblee High? Steering committees discussed the pros and cons of the following four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

32 responses to “Cost Estimates – Planning and Feasibility Study Options

  1. I still have to question the feasibility of large additions to Tucker and Lakeside high schools. Did Josh Williams provide misinformation previously or is the misinformation in these proposals?

    Of the three solutions, the best is number three.

  2. I lean toward Option 2 – it appears to shift students toward schools in communities where they live. This would promote stronger parental involvement.

  3. Tim DeBardelaben

    Still do not understand the reluctance of DCSD to reopen Briarcliff as a High School. According to DCSD Facilities Assessment report it will cost $29,000,000.00 to rehab and refurnish this building. It would immediately relieve the overcrowding in both Cross Keys and Lakeside. It would be the most cost effective solution. It would also be the most common sense solution. It is located on Mass Transit, adjacent to the stadium and one feature nobody ever mentions… It is adjacent to a county park. This park would give the science dept. many options for hands on experiments.. Honestly think DCSD could find somewhere else that they could use $25,000,000.00. The BOE is pushing the 900 student Elementary Schools because they are the most cost effective so why are they overlooking the quickest most cost effective solution.

  4. Jennifer Wright

    Umm, isn’t the construction at Henderson right now making the final changes to convert it to a middle school from the HS it used to be ? And now they want to spend 10 million to turn it back to a HS? Well done, Dekalb. Well done.

  5. stan, what about the projections from the last go round of feasability studies in preparation for esplost 1-4. We were told specific numbers. Schools were closed, relocate, lines redrawn and changes made based on those projections. What was the outcome? Did anyone take a look back before they looked forward on spending more money?

  6. Years of failure to plan, building capacity in wrong spot should now be remedied by cutting magnet program MS and HS from two options (one north/one south) to one by moving Chamblee down to Chapel Hill/SW DeKalb and cramming all magnet kids into one MS/HS track? There are so many more kids who deserve HA seats, as witnessed by lottery and terrible odds of getting in – we should be making MORE spots for them, not less. Do $$ projections include satellite transportation for all the north Dekalb kids to get to/from there?

  7. All 3 options state that “substantial renovation and auditorium at Cedar Grove High School” is needed.

    Cedar Grove High School is in Region 5. DCSD’s Round 1 Presentation (page 15) states that Region 5 High Schools currently have 1397 empty seats, and by 2022 they will have 1757 empty seats.

    Cedar Grove’s current enrollment is 1028 students. With so many empty seats in the Region, and with Cedar Grove being substantially under what DCSD says is the ideal high school size of 1600, why should more money be spent at that facility? If the facility is in bad shape – and I don’t doubt that it is – why not move the students to another under capacity High School in Region 4 or 5?

  8. I think there’s an error in the Option 1 Table.

    If you add up all of the redistricting to the new High School shown in the tan column, the total is
    400 + 600 + 1050 + 400 = 2450.

    But the capacity of the new High School is 2200.

    Oops! Or did I misunderstand the chart?

  9. Stan,
    Can you tell me where/when the idea came from to move the Chamblee magnet program to these specific schools in SW Dekalb? I attended one of the June meetings, and the idea discussed then was to possibly move it to its own building as a stand-alone program.

  10. Nancy Jester

    Mel – The district administration and many board members have been trying to move the magnet for years. When I was on the board, they really thought they could get the votes to move it to Avondale. I opposed that and the proposal was defeated. Many in the administration would like nothing better than to tear away the magnet program at Chamblee.

  11. Tim DeBardelaben

    Why does Dekalb have to limit it to one magnet program? Remember when Dekalb had one of the top rated school systems in the nation? How many students get turned away each year when they do not win the litter? Why does the School system not utilize all the assets they have at their disposal. The BOE is beginning to scare me Know of at least one member who needs to go.

  12. You’re right about the long-term effort to move the magnet, Nancy. What do you think about the idea of it being a 7-12 program at CMS site?

  13. I will repeat myself and say the final solution should be a combination of parts from each of the proposals.

    Attendance lines need to be redrawn throughout the county. Every school should be affected to some degree.
    The district needs to build new elementary schools and a new high school.
    Elementary and middle schools need to be split feeder schools.
    Programs need to move.

    Anyone who refuses to support these things is trying to keep the status quo and expecting different outcomes. That IS. NOT. POSSIBLE. If you want more money to go into classrooms, the district needs to become more efficient. It is time to design a new district.

  14. Three points:
    1) Old Briarcliff High School – Option 1 is the only option that uses the old Briarcliff High School property on North Druid Hills Road. Like Tim, I can’t understand this. The property is big, located in the area of need, and well-located for a school in general.

    If this property isn’t used now, in time of urgent need in Regions 1 and 2, then it should be sold.

    2) I agree with Kirk that the final solution should be a combination of parts from each option. But how can this happen? The August meetings are described as presenting the recommendation. That makes it sound like a done deal. How do we move from one of the 3 options above to a sensible solution?

    Dr. Green made a presentation to the BOE in December 2015 about Cross Keys overcrowding, and that presentation mentioned meetings as early as June 2015.

    They have been at this for over a year. It’s a hard problem. But none of the options presented above seem like winners for anyone.

    3) None of the options includes more than a 400 seat addition to Cross Keys. That property is big. It is well located. Why not re-build a much larger high school on that site, like they did at Chamblee? I wonder if someone at DCSD could fill us in on why this isn’t being recommended.

  15. It took nearly twenty years to get what was needed to convert and upgrade Henderson Middle from the High School. It makes no sense what so ever to spend 10 million to go back! Briarcliff has been sitting there for ages. It needs to be used.

  16. Stan Jester

    Rebuilding CKHS would not add 2,200 seats. Option 1, the new cluster, includes a new Sequoyah area High School with 2,200 seats. This new high school would take over 1,000 students from the existing Cross Keys HS. By building two new schools and redistricting to those schools, you alleviate over crowding at 8 schools in one swoop for the next 6+ years.

  17. For option three why not use the Briarcliff campus instead of converting Henderson Middle to a high school. Busing 600 kids from Dunwoody and 600 from Cross keys all the way out to Henderson sounds less than ideal. Plus you would have Tucker High School and Henderson High School less than three miles apart.

  18. I would like to point out the Facility Condition Assessment Score for Cedar Grove H.S. is 81.39.
    Other H.S. scores:
    Clarkston 56.94
    Druid Hills 72.16
    MLK 66.03
    Stephanson 71.56
    Stone Mountain 69.79
    Why does Cedar Grove need a substantial renovation?
    Is the district going to use the FCAs to make decisions or is it going to be politics, again?

  19. Tim DeBardelaben

    Here is a crazy idea. Why not reopen Briarcliff as High School. Turn Cross Keys into a M.S. Keep John Lewis open on N.Druid Hills. And make the feeder schools for Briarcliff. Briar Vista, Woodward, John Lewis, Montclair and Sagamore Hills. This would use what is in place and be cost effective. Briarcliff can be added on to bring its capacity to 2200. When I attended Briarcliff we had around 1800 students. This would help alleviate the overcrowding in both the Cross Keys Cluster and Lakeside. It would also help the Druid Hills cluster. Really question whether BOE is taking in consideration of the development that is going on in the old Briarcliff area. Over 100 condos and 100 single family homes that have either been built in the last year or are in the planning stages Not to mention the 400 housing units planned for Executive Park. Cost effective and quicker. This would leave them with only needing to build one High School.

  20. Stan, I want to like Option 1. It is the most direct solution and it uses the old Briarcliff High School property. Please help me with these concerns:
    – Is it timely enough? How long would the CKHS overcrowding continue? Wouldn’t it take 3-4 years to build a new high school? Meanwhile, the DCSD chart shows that Region 1 high schools will need nearly 1000 new high school seats in 2019.

    Is this acceptable to the CKHS community? Is it acceptable to the Region 1 high schools, especially Chamblee, since these high schools would probably have to become overcrowded themselves just to relieve CKHS temporarily?

    – Is it affordable? The estimate is $173 million, which is $3 million more than the ESPLOST-V chart shows for new facilities and additions.

    – Is it feasible to add 500 seats to Lakeside High School? I am not very familiar with the property, but is there room for the 500 seats of classrooms? Is there room for parking for 500 more students and the new teachers? Are the cafeteria and media center big enough for 500 more students?

    In addition, Kirk has a very good point about the Facility Condition Assessments. I would move whatever funds are slated for Cedar Grove High School to Clarkston High School or one of the other schools with a terrible FCA score.

  21. These options do not include the $100 million earmarked for facility condition improvements.

    Adding new seats, whether it’s building new schools or adding on to existing schools, will take time. Building new schools is generally a slightly longer process and adding to existing schools over stresses the common spaces.

    Option 1 new buildings in addition to some of the redistricting and shifting some students would be an optimal solution.

  22. Steve Schultz

    It is clear that the county over built apartment complexes in the 70s and 80s. I am sure they do not pay for themselves with tax dollars. Would it be cheaper to buy these apartment and apartments that are now condos and tear them down thus diverting the population to other parts of the county?

  23. Stan Jester

    Roughly $30 million for a 900 seat elementary school. How many apartment complexes would you have to buy and at what cost?

  24. Back to option 2B. The most recent classes to enter the magnet program have a significant number of students from the Dunwoody/Brookhaven areas – the incoming 4th grade class has close to 50% from these areas. This option assumes these families will send these middle & high school kids down to SW Dekalb. I believe a significant percentage of them will not – they will return to their home schools. So the numbers listed here don’t add up. You won’t gain 700 seats at Chamblee MS & HS because some (and possibly many) magnet students will return – and they may return to Dunwoody, Lakeside, and those area middle schools as well. You won’t gain as many seats as you’re projecting.

  25. Option 1 seems like the best way to go. Utilizing the Briarcliff High School property is vital. Tear it down and build a new one. Adding on or “revitalizing” the old, moldy, run down, outdated schools is a health hazards to our kids. Over crowding and larger student numbers are not good for the social well being of our kids either.

    As “Annonymous” states above, if the Briarcliff land is not used, SELL IT. It is a community eyesore. I understand there is a small group that would like it repurposed. I disagree. As a Briarcliff Grad and owner of 6 properties nearby, the community could use a high quality, new school. The price comparison of these options seem to support it as well.

  26. I agree with Mel’s comment about the sentiments of relocating the magnet program to SW DeKalb. I attended both meetings and that was not at all what was expressed. What I heard, over and over again, was a push to find a central location for 1 HA middle/high school program. Certainly not the suggestion to have just 1 program at SW DeKalb (which isn’t central at all.)

    It is important to note that the SW DeKalb program has been hurt by Arabia Mt. High school being entirely a school of choice. That was a political move and one which had far reaching implications that noone in S. DeKalb could grasp ahead of time. It was meant to be a neighborhood school to relieve overcrowding. However, since the recession enrollment has dropped significantly in the area schools and needs have changed. Enrollment at Schools like Lithonia and Stephenson have been tremendously hurt by Arabia Mountain. This needs to be addressed during this process.

  27. Tim DeBardelaben

    “Holly” the group that wants that school is relatively small of a couple of hundred strong. If Briarcliff building is to old then DCSD had better plan on tearing down Cross Keys as well since they were built in the same year. They should also forget about reusing Avondale H.S. As a real estate person you should also know that the property that Briarcliff sits on is zoned residential so there will not be the big buck payout like the Sembler group offered unless it is a package deal including the stadium. After all who wants a stadium right next door to a million dollar home. Also believe you would need to tear down Druid Hills High School if you are basing everything on age. The other thing that Briarcliff has going for it is that it would be the fastest way to give relief to overcrowding at Cross Keys,Lakeside and insure that Druid Hills does not become overcrowded. By relocating the tennis courts you have enough room to add on all the modern amenities that you want. This addition could be done after the school is in operation so students would not have to wait for construction to be completed. So you end up spending less money and give faster relief and you end up with everything you want. Briarcliff should be reopen as High School and Cross Keys converted to Middle School since Briarcliff is the larger building with room to expand. “Holly” hope to see you at the Annual Briarcliff Holiday Reunion Party. This year will be the 25th year anniversary, so we are hoping for a larger turnout than last years 200 people.

  28. Under Option 1 and Option 3, which current Chamblee MS and HS students would be re-districted? Magnet kids? Are there maps that accompany these options? Or, would there be some geographical re-drawing of attendance zone lines that hasn’t yet been de-lineated?

  29. Stan Jester

    Drew, I don’t think they have thought about exactly where to draw the lines. They’ll usually siphon off the neighborhoods/streets that are closest to the schools they are being redistricted to.

  30. Please bear with me as I repeat myself.
    Communities were told Lakeside and Tucker do not have physical space for any additions. Add to that, the traffic issues currently experienced by those schools and the idea of adding hundreds of seats to those schools is absurd.

  31. Tim DeBardelaben

    Makes no sense to me when they have Briarcliff sitting empty that can hold 1500 students for the cost of ab addition to Lakeside. Not to mention Briarcliff has room to expand. It is also on mass transit and adjacent to a county park. If they want to move Magnet Program seems like Briarcliff should have been considered since it is centrally located.

  32. Kate Eastburn

    We moved here a few years ago from another county so that the kids could have a chance to go to very good schools. I heard there was redistricting 5 years ago… why was this not addressed then? So conceivably we could experience 2 redistrictings? That is absurd. What about consistency and kids growing up together in their communities, knowing there is stability and that they will pretty much go from K to 12 with their peers? If we lived in Gwinnett or Douglas or Forsyth Counties, that would be possible. If we end up rezoned I don’t know what we will do… another change? another move? Not quite what I had in mind for my kids – with a soon to be middle schooler finding out she is not going where we all thought she was going. Yeah, I know many are in the same boat. This county has failed our kids in many schools for far too long so now my kids have to maybe suffer the consequences. A new high school and middle school sound interesting to me – tell me more what to expect…… will it be the Caliber of Lakeside or Druid Hills? What solutions are the least disruptive and will benefit ALL kids. It’s the kids lives and futures here – all kids deserve excellent schools? Why was this not addressed years ago – come on Dekalb has been growing at a cracking pace for quite some time. Over crowding should not be a surprise…..