Doraville Keeps Losing E-SPLOST V Projects

Should Doraville have its own cluster?

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“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them”    — Frederick Douglass (August 3, 1857)

Case in point:

Cary Reynolds ES and Indian Creek ES
This image has been part of every Dekalb Schools SPLOST presentation since May. Note that the graphic clearly states: “Approximately $60 million committed to two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster”.

At the most recent school board meeting (11/7), the promise to Doraville for a new elementary school was quietly removed from previous plans. It was supplanted with a rebuild for Indian Creek.

Not only should Doraville be getting a new elementary school to alleviate over crowding, Cary Reynolds should either be rebuilt entirely or have a far more significant renovation than is now planned. The District’s most recent plan shows Cary Reynolds as only getting a $5 million (Roof, HVAC, Site Improvements, Site Utilities – $5.55M). This won’t begin to address the overcrowding or inadequacies at that school.

Note: The main factors used to determine which schools need renovations, additions and/or rebuilds are:

  1. The Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) score;
  2. The Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA) score; and
  3. The capacity and enrollment data and projections.

Also note: In 2016, 300 students were redistricted out of Cary Reynolds.

Enrollment Capacity PctCap Fcst Trailers FCA FEAA
Cary Reynolds 900 701 128% 905 20 31.62 51.43
Indian Creek 1,158 898 129% 1,070 12 38.43 80.17

While enrollment at Indian Creek has flattened out and declined over the last few years, enrollment at Cary Reynolds continues its steady increase.

Capacity 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cary Reynolds 701 877 994 1058 1163 1193
Indian Creek 898 964 1056 1092 1,087 1064

It is also noteworthy that half the elementary schools surrounding Indian Creek ES are under capacity while all the elementary schools surrounding Cary Reynolds are at 110% – 120% capacity.

DeKalb Schools seems to well understand exactly what the city of Doraville will quietly submit to.

155 responses to “Doraville Keeps Losing E-SPLOST V Projects

  1. Hilary: You are correct. No. 🙂

    Yes, the project list presumes two projects in the area: 1. reno at CRES and 2. the 2nd “New CK ES.” My argument is that the underlying, long-term strategy should be to close the current CRES building. I realize that the current state of enrollment indicates both are needed for an indeterminate time. What I am saying and have been since last year is that we must be open to, and lobbying for, every opportunity to replace CRES in this project as the data may allow. Very dynamic situation with the area ESes.

  2. Let me go even farther out on a limb; it is inevitable that CRES will be retired. So my goal all along has been to accelerate that reality in every way possible. I believe that during the SPLOST V period that may be possible. Can it be pre-determined? No, for the reasons you mentioned. Those reason will be changing and all I am saying is we need to watch the changes like a hawk for the opportunity to retire CRES with the new project.

  3. Hey Tim. Go to DeKalb Schools Building SPACES – Click on “Data” in the left navigation – Then click on the triangle under FCA at the top of the chart … There’s your list.

    You can click on your FCA score to get to the report behind it and see why MES ranks where it does.

  4. Stan,
    The E-SPLOST-V Project List agenda item for the December 5 BOE meeting says:

    • The E-SPLOST revenue projections for 2017-2022 were revised upward from $500 million to $530 million. With the Board’s approval of the final percentage distribution between DCSD, City Schools of Decatur, and Atlanta Public Schools, we now know one of the previous unknowns, which allowed staff and the District’s Bond Financial Advisors to review and update our initial projections with less uncertainty.

    • Thus, the total funding allocation for category two has increased from $261 million to $291million, with $260 million in E-SPLOST revenues and $31 million in GA DOE reimbursements, allowing for the construction of three new elementary schools: two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster (i.e. John Lewis Elementary School and new elementary school for Cross Keys North) and the tear-down/re-build of Indian Creek Elementary School.

    Three questions:
    1 – When did the Board (I assume it is DeKalb BOE?) approve the final percentage distribution between DCSD, City Schools of Decatur, and Atlanta Public Schools?

    2 – Who made the decision that the extra $30 million would go to E-SPLOST-V Category 2?
    Voters were told of a specific E-SPLOST-V budget allocation for a $500 million total. That equates to specific percentages for each category.

    Now that DCSD has “found” an extra $30 million, why doesn’t it legally have to be allocated to all five E-SPLOST-V categories in the same percentages as the original vote?

    I see Category 2 as the most needy, but how do we know that voters in other regions who don’t have the capacity problems but have severe needs in other E-SPLOST-V categories would approve this decision?

    3 – Who made the decision not to increase the Management Support, Debt Service, and Program Contingency budget?
    The budget for Category 2 has increased by $61 million from the initial amount, yet the Management Support, Debt Service, and Program Contingency budget hasn’t increased at all. How much extra risk is this?

    This seems like a very slippery slope.

    First we have an E-SPLOST-V vote for $500 million, allocated to five categories but to no specific projects.

    Then we find $31 million more in GaDOE reimbursement funds to add to Category 2.

    Now we find that there really is $30 million more in the E-SPLOST-V kitty, and it will all go to Category 2.

    You know, if we had known that Category 2 (New Construction and Additions) really had a budget of $291 million rather than the $230 million that the public was told when considering options, perhaps different options might have been chosen.

    Very slippery slope indeed.

  5. 1. 8/1/2016 – Approval of the E-SPLOST Certificate of Distribution

    The administration is recommending we spend the extra $30 million on a new Doraville ES.

    I’m not sure how that jibes with the language in the referendum.

    Many of the estimates seem to be +/- 40%.

    Original Round 3 Estimates

    New Classroom Additions Cost
    1. 600 seat addition at Dunwoody HS $23 million
    2. 450 seat addition at Peachtree MS $17 million
    3. 900 seat addition at Lakeside HS $34 million
    4. 500 seat addition at Chamblee HS $19 million

    Latest Estimates

    School Final Recommendation Change in Seats New Estimates Change In Funding
    1 Dunwoody HS 600 seats (2,100 seat capacity) 0 $16.4 million – 29%
    2 Peachtree MS 450 seats (1,700 seat capacity) 0 $13.9 million – 18%
    3 Lakeside HS 750 seats (2,500 seat capacity) – 17% $22.1 million – 35%
    4 Chamblee HS 600 seats (2,400 seat capacity) + 17% $16.4 million – 14%