Dunwoody HS – 600 Seat Addition

DeKalb Schools will bring to the board on Monday a recommendation to construct a 600-seat, 29-classroom, two-story addition to Dunwoody High School. The project will also include

  • Kitchen extension (1,731 sq/ft)
  • Cafeteria extension (485 sq/ft)
  • New media center addition (2,020 sq/ft)
  • New parking – paving over the retention pond (160 spaces)

Note: The plan is to add 600 seats but only a 20’x 25′ cafeteria expansion and 160 parking spaces for students and employees.
Note: This project will not include any renovations or additions to existing media rooms, art rooms, locker rooms, band room, choir room, gymnasium, fields, or any other common spaces or surrounding infrastructure.
What are your thoughts?

Conceptual Plan
The following plans represent a conceptual approach to locating building additions and site modifications at the schools recommended for additions and reconfiguration. These conceptual plans are intended for the purpose of determining feasibility only.
click to enlarge

Enrollment/Capacity – Dunwoody High School (Oct 2016)
Dunwoody HS currently has 1,822 students enrolled and is expected to have at least 2,093 students (588 students over current capacity) by the year 2022. The campus currently has 462 parking spaces for students and faculty.

Enrollment By Grade (Oct 2016) Total Total Available Percent
School 9 10 11 12 Enrollment Capacity Seats Capacity Portables
Dunwoody HS 538 462 437 385 1,822 1,505 -317 121% 4

The administration recommends constructing a 600-seat, 29-classroom, two-story addition extending the current footprint and bringing the school to 108 classrooms.
Core Areas
The recommendation is to construct a new kitchen/cafeteria addition, as well as a new media center addition. These modifications will expand core areas by 4,236-square-ft.

August Round 3 Estimates Cost September Final Recommendation Change in Seats Estimates Change In Funding
1 600 seat addition at Dunwoody HS $23 million 600 seats (2,100 seat capacity) 0 $16.4 million – 29%
2 450 seat addition at Peachtree MS $17 million 450 seats (1,700 seat capacity) 0 $13.9 million – 18%
3 900 seat addition at Lakeside HS $34 million 750 seats (2,500 seat capacity) – 17% $22.1 million – 35%
4 500 seat addition at Chamblee HS $19 million 600 seats (2,400 seat capacity) + 17% $16.4 million – 14%

The estimated total cost of the proposed recommendation has flucuated over the last few months +/- 30%. It was most recently $16.4 million. The latest estimated total cost of the proposed recommendation is $16,900,000.

Total Budget Cost includes direct construction costs, Arch/Eng. fees, site testing fees, furniture/fixtures/equipment, and project contingencies. These costs were developed from historical cost information compiled by School Planning and Management, in their Annual School Construction Report
2015, Region 5 (Southeast United States) cost per student for new high schools. These costs were then inflation adjusted for year 2019.

Board of Education Meeting
These recommendations will be presented to the board at the end of the 2pm business meeting this coming Monday. There will be public comment at 5:45pm. The board is expected to vote on this in December. You may get on the list to speak this Monday at public comment by emailing Margaret_Francois (Margaret_Francois@dekalbschoolsga.org)

20 responses to “Dunwoody HS – 600 Seat Addition

  1. I am so excited to see how the addition progresses. A reminder to the readers of this blog that the school is not adding 600 new students. The 1500 seat Dunwoody High School is already over capacity by 322 students now. There will be approximately 250 or so new students after this addition. This is an important distinction.
    As far as parking goes, aren’t we lucky that St Luke’s is willing to offer parking to our HS students? Please see this blog post written by Dunwoody city councilman John Heneghan.
    Stan, I am guessing from your “notes” sections that you do not see that the changes/ additions and renovations are sufficient.
    Your note:
    “Note: The plan is to add 600 seats but only a 20’x 25′ cafeteria expansion and 160 parking spaces for students and employees.”
    “Note: This project will not include any renovations or additions to existing media rooms, art rooms, locker rooms, band room, choir room, gymnasium, fields, or any other common spaces or surrounding infrastructure.”
    Question: Can we be sure that the classroom additions planned cannot also include a larger band room, choir room, art room, etc? How do we know for sure that classrooms will not be moved around to offer that option? It is my understanding that choir currently practices in the hallway. I see a $2m fund drive happening to improve athletic fields at Dunwoody High so that plan appears to be in motion via the community. http://dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/2016/10/dunwoody-high-school-community.html
    How about parking spot lotteries? Offer parking to seniors only? Yay–St Luke’s offered parking! No parking signs on surrounding residential streets?
    Stan, this blog is so helpful and we appreciate your commitment to Region 1 and DCSD. Thank you.

  2. A reminder to the readers of this blog, the school council had the option to reduce the attendance area by 400+ students, taking enrollment down to 1450, meaning no addition and fewer cars. Instead, the school council decided to grow the school size, allowing for 600 new seats. As Doraville’s residential property grows (we see this happening now) and as Perimeter adds 3,000 – 5,000 new residential units, the high school will have 2,100 students and most likely trailers by the time the addition is built. DeKalb lied about $23 million and now offering $16 million.
    In summary, DHS could have been 1450 students but will instead be 2100.
    WHERE IS THE NEW GYM? WHERE ARE THE NEW LOCKER-ROOMS? They are at Arabia Mountain and other south DeKalb schools. Hook, line, sinker. Well played Dan Drake. You got ’em!

  3. Parking at St Luke’s? 3/4 of a mile walk. Kids will continue to park on side streets – it’s closer.

  4. Notcrawlewis, how is redistricting children who live in Dunwoody to Doraville schools an option? Please explain. How do you see that the councils at PCMS or Dunwoody High would have opted to send portions of their residents (likely from Chesnut/ Hightower or Kingsley) out of the cluster?

  5. Jane, as always, your voice of reason is appreciated. I also want to share a heart felt thank you to Saint Luke’s for being such an amazing community partner and part of the solution to parking and traffic by DHS.
    Also… Wanted to make a data correction to NotCrawLewis’s 3/4 mile walk comment…
    It is actually a 0.4 mile walk. This will take about 7 minutes at a relaxed convo pace. Thanks for the data, Google, and to my MapMyRun App for tracking my walk 🙂 I am pretty sure that there will be students who volunteer to get to school at 7:40am and walk the 7 minutes to class over apparently showing up an hour before school to claim a “coveted” street space. On a side note, to walk to DHS from Vanderlyn Elementary is also a 0.4 mile walk… So parents, ask your kiddos to be good neighbors to our Vanderlyn kin and have them park at St. Lukes instead of in front of Vanderlyn.
    Love that our cluster community is supporting DHS through an athletics capital improvement campaign, through parking, and through ensuring that DHS continues to offer our cluster students an incredible high school experience by focusing on a competitive and high quality instructional program. I’m excited for DHS’s today
    and tomorrow.

  6. I am encouraging my son to continue parking on Vanderlyn Drive. The Vanderlyn parents can park at StLikes

  7. Jane and Erika,
    You are delusional and selfish. You refuse to see that you were duped by the school district. All that is happening here is that the school district is going to keep a school from Doraville in the Dunwoody cluster and then add some more. Stop embarrassing yourself by trying to sell it on Mr. Jester’s blog. Worse yet, you obviously care nothing for our neighborhoods. We will have more traffic and more degradation of our neighborhoods if you get your way. Our kids will be forced to endure crowded classes with students from outside of our city. For what? The school won’t get the needed improvements that they sold you on. I heard from Chad and company that the band and choir rooms would be upgraded. What a load of BS! You only supported this idea because you were afraid your neighborhoods would be redistricted out of Dunwoody because you live on the edges. If you actually believed what you said than you should be ashamed of yourself for your lack of understanding of the real world. You want the majority of Dunwoody to suffer to provide you assurance that you will remain in Dunwoody high school. That is so selfish. That lowers the property value and our enjoyment of our neighborhoods just to protect you from any possible redistricting. The vast majority of Dunwoody would be better off with redistricting. Sad.

  8. Property Values Matter

    I am afraid “Mom who cares” is right. Most likely anyone who is in favor of adding seats to Dunwoody does not understand the majority of Dunwoody. If more seats and more kids from outside of Dunwoody are put here, people will move. Dunwoody will become the next Doraville. My advice to everyone is to sell now and move to a normal place.

  9. Property Values Matter and Mom Who Cares,
    I am sorry to hear that you feel that way. I am guessing from your statement about “a school from Doraville” that you mean Hightower. Hightower has about 1/3 Dunwoody residents (FYI). It is interesting that you feel that others in the cluster (assuming you mean Chesnut/ Kingsley and/ or Hightower parents) should accept being redistricted so that neighbors of DHS do not have to deal with traffic and parking issues as a result of expansion. I feel that the needs of the whole cluster are important to examine. Calling us selfish is very interesting. This issue has been so divisive and I am sorry to hear things like this coming from Dunwoody “neighbors”. Our side of town is in walking distance to the middle school used by the entire city. We are all part of Dunwoody.

  10. The school councils discussed the needs of the cluster and determined through input from their elementary, middle and high school communities that the modified B was the best option. How would choosing an option that could redistrict many Dunwoody students from Dunwoody High School be a viable option to choose? The councils listened to their community and backed the option that was best for the cluster. I am optimistic that we can move past all of this and embrace the new DHS plan. We have so many great things happening in our city!

  11. Keeping Dunwoody students in Dunwoody seems to be a driving factor everyone can agree on.

  12. Why should any parent be okay with getting redistricted from a big performing school to a lower one. Where would the Hightower kids go? CCHS. We are facing overcrowding as well. A Doraville HS is needed!

  13. students perform, not schools

  14. Stan, thank you for your comment about keeping Dunwoody kids in Dunwoody. I am not sure everyone agrees with you based on the comments I have seen here. I would like to think so but I have only seen evidence to the contrary.
    I feel that the school councils represented their communities and the needs of the cluster as a whole. I am proud that our Dunwoody cluster community cared enough to consider the needs of all Dunwoody students.
    Apparently, the parents who live in the Chesnut/ Kingsley attendance zone are seen as selfish by some because we would like to stay at DHS.
    Sidenote: Our neighborhood deals with a ton of traffic from the middle school and elementary schools on a daily basis at drop off and dismissal and an hour on either side of it and we manage to live with it. This comes along with living near a neighborhood school. It is time for community members to look for solutions instead of complaining about cars parking near the HS and the dreaded traffic.
    Stan, thank you for the great info and for sharing this blog with all of us!

  15. Despina Lamas

    Stan, is there an option where we can “keep Dunwoody students in Dunwoody” AND DHS not require an expansion?

  16. “If you actually believed what you said than you should be ashamed of yourself for your lack of understanding of the real world. You want the majority of Dunwoody to suffer to provide you assurance that you will remain in Dunwoody high school. That is so selfish. That lowers the property value and our enjoyment of our neighborhoods”
    Wow. I’ll take a moment to let all this “caring” from Mom Who “Cares” wash over me.
    Perceived property values is more important than children in the community who are technically Dunwoody, but “the wrong kind of Dunwoody”.
    No, my dear. THIS is what is selfish. “Let’s get rid of all of those wrong people because they are lowering our property values and WE are MORE Dunwoody than THEY are.”
    Here’s a redistricting option for you: Build a wall around Vanderlyn and let these vultures feed on each other’s young. Dunwoody’s worst conflicts would end instantly.

  17. Not good. I lived through this with my kids in Milton GA. It was a train wreck.
    At Milton the basic construct of the school was not altered, which appears to be the case here too, so the halls were literally sardine cans, they rotated the additional student count into the same labs, gyms, etc which created abysmal overcrowding, there was no additional counselors added and the traffic flow was a nightmare. That’s what I remember.
    The new high school was built shortly thereafter.

  18. Hilarious! Anyone who is ok with redistricting is obviously not afraid it will be them that has to move schools. Be mindful, people buy to attend a specific school. One pays a specific price therefore property tax based on said school. “Children perform, not school” really MAD Dad; are you willing to move? I’m guessing not! Based on you telling your child to park where they have been asked not to, tells me all I need to know.

  19. Good point. So, is it ever the right time to redistrict? What are the tell tale signs that it is time to redistrict?

  20. I think the scary part is when kids are moved from high performing school to lower performing school. Parents are not nor should they be ok with this. DeKalb needs to take a page from APS north side. These parents banded together and made the point that the school communities were working so Leave Them Alone! IF something must be done, keep communities together and make “swing” campuses. Especially at the elementary levels. It is important to keep elementary schools together. It would be on thing if nearby schools were sitting empty but this is NOT the case. Again, $ is there! DeKalb has escaped by using temporary solutions for too long! Shame on them. Can you imagine if they had to actually accomadate all the children that actually lived in the system. Lucky for them many can afford private schools.