On Monday the DeKalb Board of Education will vote on E-SPLOST V project scheduling and associated cash flow sequencing including details of the projects, budgets, and anticipated start and finish dates.
E-SPLOST V Project Listing and Cash Flow Sequencing Presentation (March 20, 2017)
Proposed E-SPLOST V Project Listing with Start/Finish Dates (March 20, 2017)
2017-2022 E-SPLOST PROJECT CATEGORIES
|Project Listing Sequence||$ millions|
|Safety and Security (100’s)||$15|
|New Facilities and Additions (200’s)||$291|
|Facility Condition Improvements (300’s)||$100|
|Technology Improvements,incl. ERP (400’s)||$65|
|Buses, Vehicles, and Other Capital Equipment (500’s)||$40|
|Management and Contingency||$50|
E-SPLOST V Project Schedule – New Facilities and Additions
|Project||Description||Budget||Anticipated Overall Start Date||Anticipated Construction Start Date||Anticipated Construction Finish Date||Anticipated Overall Finish Date|
|John Lewis ES||New 900-seat prototype elementary school, including land purchase||$31,500,000||Mar. 2017||Jul. 2017||Nov. 2018||Apr. 2019|
|New Cross Keys MS
(at Cross Keys HS)
|21-classroom addition||$10,005,000||Mar. 2017||Nov. 2018||Mar. 2020||Jun. 2020|
|Chamblee HS||30-classroom addition||$21,540,000||Mar. 2017||Nov. 2018||Jul. 2020||Oct. 2020|
|New ES for Cross Keys North||New 900-seat prototype elementary school, including land purchase||$30,500,000||Aug. 2017||Dec. 2018||Apr. 2020||Jul. 2020|
|Indian Creek ES||Tear-down and re-build of new 1200-seat (expanded) prototype elementary school on-site||$28,500,000||Mar. 2017||Jul. 2018||Nov. 2019||Feb. 2020|
|New Cross Keys HS||New 119-classroom high school||$84,800,000||Aug. 2017||Sep. 2019||Sep. 2021||Jun. 2022|
|Cedar Grove HS||Auditorium addition and synthetic turf installation||$6,030,000||Oct. 2017||May. 2019||Sep. 2020||Jan. 2021|
|Clarkston HS||32-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation||$18,040,000||Feb. 2018||Oct. 2019||Jun. 2021||Sep. 2021|
|Lakeside HS||38-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation||$26,990,000||Nov. 2018||Jul. 2020||Mar. 2022||Jun. 2022|
|Dunwoody HS||26-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation||$17,690,000||Feb. 2019||Oct. 2020||Jun. 2022||Sep. 2022|
|Peachtree MS||26-classroom addition||$14,100,000||Oct. 2019||Jun. 2021||Feb. 2023||May. 2023|
|Freedom MS||17-classroom addition||$8,485,000||Jan. 2020||Sep. 2021||Jan. 2023||Apr. 2023|
Thanks for sharing, Stan. Does the process include milestones for updating the enrollment projections? Or will that happen only by request from the Board or the Superintendent? I think it is essential that the planners formally update the Board on how the projections are panning out at least once per year.
I believe the projected addition completion date for the DHS classroom addition is not until 2020 or 2021, is that correct? What is the timeline to do the re-districting that would add the additional 600 students? Is that even still the plan? I know there has been some dissatisfaction with that decision, but am not aware of any specific changes.
The estimated (or earliest) completion date for the DHS additions is 2022.
The redistricting process, if any were to occur, would start roughly a year before the addition is completed. To Paula Caldarella’s point (along with the advocates of the building additions), the additions will not be accompanied by 600 additional students. The additions are to accommodate classroom space for 600 more students at DHS … many of whom are already there.
To my point, the additions to the DHS add classroom space and do little else to address the already overburdened common spaces. The other plan was to redistrict students out of DHS thereby addressing ALL OVERCROWDING NEEDS. My suggestion was to shrink the DHS attendance zone to the city limits.
Will the school board be entertaining any further discussion on other solutions due to the resolution passed by the Board of Commissioners’ request? I do not see how the property at Lakeside High School or the infrastructure and traffic can support an addition. Flooding of streets and property in the area is already a significant problem and the effect on the Peachtree Creek system will negatively impact the community.
I believe it’s physically possible to add 750 seats to the LHS property. Obviously that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The board has contemplated the decision. The decision probably will not be discussed again until a majority of the board asks for it to be revisited. Three board members would have to change their minds for that to happen.
I am just throwing this out there…. Have the three school councils that are going to be greatly affected combined forces and written letters to the board and Dr. Green? What we are paying for 3 additions (and either be more with overruns or less (classrooms in the building) because the project ran out of money), we could build a new high school that has ZERO effect on student learning and teacher morale and will just be cost neutral (except for land).
Stan has stated before that finding land in North DeKalb was easier than he thought.
Cathy D, brings up an interesting point. You probably have given an answer to this in an earlier post. Who pays for the improvement in things like side walks, sewer, prevention of flooding, etc..
Is this covered in the SPLOST funding or does the county and city pay for it?
Your suggestion is logical, but keep in mind that folks from the Chamblee cluster and the Lakeside cluster spoke passionately at the December 5, 2016 meeting, asking for a 60-90 day deferral on the vote JUST FOR THIS PART of E-SPLOST-V.
And no one but Stan cared. I think he made a motion for a deferral for just this part of the program, so that no other projects would be delayed while this was sorted out. But no other BOE member would give him a second.
So what’s the point? BOE members won’t listen to their constituents. BOE members won’t listen to a resolution from the DeKalb Board of Commissioners.
I don’t want to admit defeat because I think the DCSD plan will result in terribly over-crowded Region 1 high schools plus Lakeside HS, and that a new Region 1 high school is inevitable in the short term.
But no one but Stan agrees with this. There must be something or someone “behind the curtain” driving us toward this cliff.
I wouldn’t be too aggressive and not make too many expansion plans until the numbers are known. For example, word on the street is that a number of CMS parents of 8th graders are leaving in droves. Either they are moving to a new district or going to private schools.
Great job Dekalb! Way to get rid of your strong families who care about education and want to be a part of the school and will volunteer and give their all to wherever their kids land. You’re giving them the finger and telling them exactly what you think of them!
Cathy and Joy,
I can answer your questions about who pays for the necessary infrastructure improvements that become necessary based on the school district’s decision to build these additions. It will become the responsibility of the governing jurisdiction – either the county government for the unincorporated areas, or the municipal government (the city).
Unfortunately, the school district did not work with the other governmental jurisdictions when determining their eSPLOST building plans. This is precisely why the DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in support of a resolution asking them to consider such factors. I asked the cities to consider doing a similar resolution but, so far, no city has weighed in, despite the fact that they will have to address the infrastructure. I would have thought they would have wanted to be on record when their residents wake up and start feeling the effects of these ridiculous decisions. Good luck driving on Vermack, Chamblee-Dunwoody, and Briarcliff Roads.
I believe that state law that allows the school district to behave in such an uncoordinated fashion regarding traffic, transit, water and sewer infrastructure, stormwater drainage, intersection improvements, etc. is seriously flawed. They are not even required to do a traffic study. In fact, as long as it is used for educational purposes, the school district could build a 100-story tower on their property. It doesn’t matter that Lakeside, Dunwoody, and to a slightly lesser extent, Chamblee, High Schools sit in the middle of residential areas. The school district does not have to comply to any rules of zoning whatsoever. Yet, the county or city will have to go in without any money from the school district and address storm water, water and sewer, roads, etc. This is a recipe for disaster. We are seeing the implications of this silly governmental structure play out in this e-SPLOST plan. Perhaps we need to encourage our legislators to get this addressed in the next legislative session (January 2018).
Just a note. The average tenure of a superintendent in a large, urban school district is 3.6 years. These plans are being led by leadership that, on average, doesn’t last the length of the actual tax collection period (an eSPLOST is 5 years). It strikes me as terrible public policy to have tax that can be spent so cavalierly by a leader who is often gone long before the terrible effects start being felt. Remember, that is how we ended up with the proliferation of trailers. The previous superintendent had a vision that didn’t include dealing with building where actual children attended school. It didn’t take long to feel those effects. Now this. We know how this story ends.
Runamok “Word on street?” Some @CMS leave the system to go private every year, mainly magnets. But I know a few residents that have as well over the years. Many had plans to do so for years before – St. Pius, Marist, Blessed Trinity, etc. Many (if not most) of those I know went to them themselves – still live nearby, part of the “life-plan.” As for resident “non-magnets” actually moving away? I don’t know too many, especially in HH. Over the years we’ve had a few move across 285 to Dunwoody for bigger houses as their families grew, but now more are adding on to stay in HH/CMH/CCHS. But maybe you are aware of more in MES? if that’s the streets you are referring to. But as I say, I generally see Magnets, and nothing in the way of a mass migration.
So if there are going to be much lower #s in 9th grade please let Dr. Sauce know – maybe give him a list as they’re putting in 4 trailers for next year.
But maybe they’re for the kids of families that don’t care about education?
Bless you and thanks for your answer. WOW!!!!!. I am sorry that there was not greater or perhaps any discussion with the county government. I believe that we all want our neighborhoods to be as safe for our children as possible. Seeing children have the option of walking to schools on a side walk is always a great site.
I also remember a few months ago there was an issue with certain new neighborhoods having concerns about the ability of the sewer systems to handle the added growth. Some people may recall this. There were issues with MLK High School and McNair, having problems with the sewers near those schools. All parents want the best possible schools for their children. I really had a great deal of compassion for the parent who did the video of the school restroom. Who would want their child having to use a rest room like that?
Our children need greater thought and planning. Hopefully the school system will reach out to the county government.
I wish I could afford to get the hell out and go private. But my kid is already entrenched. DeKalb is reason #1 why vouchers are needed.
Nancy & Stan: Maybe we should have a poll to see who has the best profile picture.
In all seriousness – it might be surprising to some here that I agree the infrastructure concerns voiced by you both & others are to a point legit. I would add that as for my own Chamblee – the problems on Cham./Dun. are generated, not only by the School, but the growing # of cluster & townhomes being built/planned in the area. Good luck turning left out of those places. I’ll add that the improvements going in right now by the city are more of a band-aid that will not make much difference in the long run. But will more students create more traffic, yep. Is that reason alone to not do it? I say no. But getting the city & system to work together? tall task – from both directions.
Meanwhile we avoid trying to cross Cham. Dun. in the afternoon. A large group of HH – CMS/CCHS kids cross to a neighborhood “safe house.” Easier to do so when the traffic’s stopped dead! As Stan was saying, Chamblee, less suburban – these days I’d say really much more urban, bringing the problems that come with it. Brookhaven too. New projects in the area, like Whole Foods across from Lowes = more traffic too. Just ask those on Ash/Dun. & Johnson Ferry in the afternoon what they think that will do. It’s only getting worse. Infrastructure improvements of all types are needed in Chamblee, I hope the system will work with the city, and vice versa. Life in the sort of “big city.”
I’ve got a few backroads I use to get around, but I’m not telling.
Lynn. I think some might be surprised to learn that the Region 1 HS are not as monolithic in their thoughts on this, inside each school & cluster, much less between the 3 together. Visible & organized efforts for the delay d/n speak for all, I know there were many at the “delay the vote” who spoke for moving forward – I was one. And if you observed that meeting – the Lakeside contingent, at least that night, was really just a Sagamore Hills deal – cool matching t-shirts even.
And while I can’t say for certain that there have been no efforts for the North HS SC’s to join forces (GB for CCHS), I don’t know of any – I’d seriously doubt it. If so, I suspect Stan would know.
I do know that within Chamblee – regardless of opinions on this issue – divisive at times, it has drawn the schools closer together to communicate & share information. And I do know that the Cluster SCs Chairs (including myself) did sign off on a joint letter requesting the CACs to be larger than 5 – at least 7 if not 9. That is something I advocated for here & personally a parent. In that sense the idea is to move on together, make sure we have as much a role as possible in the growth of CCHS. Will they do it? Hard to say. Are we now meeting face-to-face & not just by email, you bet. And I think it’s been helpful.
So at least on your point of schools working together on common interests – I hope we see more. On this “delay the vote – now change the plan” I don’t think so. I say if you’re in one of the schools, or will be, get very informed on the CACs & follow them over the next 3 + years.
Way to ruin a perfectly good school Bill!
@ Bill – I will tell you this. Yes, we are applying out of CCHS for next year and hopefully, will go private fingers crossed and praying every night. There are more than you think because we have talked and I have answered many questions for others because of applying and getting another child into private school already. I also know of several that if their child does not get into a private school, they are selling so the next couple of years at CCHS will be telling. From posting on here, I have answered many parents get in contact with me. This has never happened before. So yes, there is going to be a shift this coming year. Now, are there going to be new students moving into the area to take the place of those that are leaving? I can’t answer that question.
I can also say this Bill, school councils have more weight with the county than individual parents speaking at a board meeting. That is what happened at the December meeting, individual parents and not school councils in agreement.
I want everyone to pay very close attention to this. Henderson’s addition is complete and will open fully in the fall. This school was added onto with 0% growth. How long before the first trailer is pulled up? Also, where is that trailer going? If I was LHS, DHS, and CCHS I would be following this as the county decides to grow your schools with a 0% growth allowance. You will have a mega with no room for growth except on your athletic field and your parking spaces.
Lynn. I have children in HHES, CMS & CCHS. We’ve been through Kittredge as well. Maybe more are moving away from AP & MES, there’s always been a drain after 8th. Is it going to be more? Maybe so. Q. Those talking of leaving – in your opinion, were some already inclined/planning to anyway , as I say I know some – always have. Or are they leaving because of the addition/crowding? Or is it the perceived impact on academics, reputation, test scores, esp. by those moving/redistricted in?
And I’ll add – to be clear. I am on a SC – have been for years. HHES. And I have communicated as its chair to the board in that capacity, as well as an individual parent. And I know many parents in our school/CMS/CCHS. I get that many are saying I’m not in line all that they know at CCHS & CMS, MES/AP as well, but perhaps some are not hearing me in that I know many, many, many from HH & some from the MES area as well, that agree with me. And many of those have kids at CMS & CCHS as well.
Sorry to hear you might be leaving – you impress me as someone who is obviously involved.
@ Bill – Just because I possibly will not have students in the school system does not mean that I am going away. It is still my tax dollars and I feel like I should still have a voice. Wouldn’t you agree?
Why I left the school system because I felt like there was not a high school in the county that could educate him the way that I thought he needed to be challenged. I wanted to go ahead and start looking in the private sector to see what options that were available. My friends and neighbors could not believe that I did this (as being a public school employee for 18 years) and thought I was crazy because they “are in it for the long haul”. Now, some of these friends are applying out and they do see where I am coming from.
Like Kim and I debated last December. He pointed out all these crazy things that happened in the news at CCHS. I thought I was very polite and thanked him for pointing out why I was not a fan of construction because all the crazy things that happened, happened during construction. Also, during construction, test scores did go down and teacher morale suffered due to all the movement. Now, as a parent, and you see that this construction will happen during your child’s sophomore, junior and finish their senior year what would you do knowing that it is getting harder every year for students to get into college? You are going to give your student the best shot they can get. We only get one chance to educate our child. We have to do what we think is best for our child. At this time, applying out is what I think is best.
Screwed – why would you want to get out of CCHS?
@Stan: I have to disagree that LHS parcel is big enough to handle the new addition. With most of the property backing up to wetlands, how has what has been built effected Echo Lake with runoff and silt? The girl’s softball field as proposed the last time I saw a drawing, so now it possible could have changed considering the SPLOST list has changed 3 times since the first one came out, was going to be on a hill and home plate was going to be in the creek that feeds Echo Lake, that finally feeds the Chattahoochee. I wonder what the Chattahoochee River Keepers Association would think about that? Yes, I know that they may not know but they really frown on anyone who brings harm to the river with construction. Isn’t LHS the only high school getting an addition that does sit in a somewhat wetland area? How many agencies Federal, State and Local are going to have to “ok” building in this area? I know that right now you can not build 100 feet from the center of a water source. Did the School System even look at this, or did they just throw plans out there?
Lynn – 100% you have a voice – it’s the education of all our kids – they all will be in our society – living together. Dunwoody, Chamblee, Cross Keys – wherever they build the schools and draw the lines.
What would I do? I have 1 in 9th @CCHS (resident = her & her classmates moved up from CMS), another in 7th (magnet = some of his classmates will go private or perhaps return to their home cluster – but most we know won’t). I’d say we’re staying – but that sounds as if we considered leaving – that we felt we needed to look elsewhere. We don’t. So I’d say we’re moving upward & onward.
Those that choose otherwise – their choice. Your choice. I certainly respect that. I do take offense when people accuse me of “ruining a perfectly good school.” I think my positions are at least as valid and informed as others & a product of my involvement over these past 12 years.
And I have also fielded questions from many wanting to continue on in Chamblee – we share our thoughts, and they are choosing Chamblee. Some even building on to stay – as we did. Perhaps more than you think.
Bill – You should do a poll of the rising 9th graders coming out of CMS and see how many are leaving for the sole reason of the new addition and 2400 students coming to CCHS as well as ongoing construction for the next 3 years over there. You won’t need that addition – unless the numbers coming from CKHS are more than they are saying.
Runamok – your anecdotal “proof” of huge #s are leaving isn’t anymore an indication of 9th grade enrollment than mine of those staying & moving up. Like I say – they are projecting total enrollment 9-12 to go up & they are putting in 4 more trailers. I’m not saying you & Lynn haven’t spoken to several who have decided or threatened to go private or move – but is it more than normal? I’ve spoken to many who are moving on to CCHS – not proof of more staying than normal. Proof that people are talking more about it? Certainly.
@ Bill – I can see both sides of the fence and I am going to try and be neutral and hopefully can show you why many think that you are possibly going to ruin CCHS. At the December Board Meeting, you and the fellow “go forward” speakers were greatly outnumbered by the number of speakers that asked for a deferment. That was the major start of where many felt you were out of line. Especially when another HHES parent (pro deferment) who had a child at CCHS and expressed her concerns about safety (tornado warning and not enough room for the students in the hallway) and was ignored when the Board gave the Superintendent the green light to go forward. To many of us, it seemed like HHES was not 100% in agreement like the MES/SHES community showed at the Board meeting that night.
Do I always agree with “Chamblee Getting Screwed” no, just like you don’t always agree with me. Do they have a right to a voice, yes. Do I wish that they would tone it down with how they say some of their thoughts, yes, but maybe that is their personality. I make a personal choice not to engage them when I think they have crossed the line. If you notice I do not ever engage “CGS” like I do other posters. That is my choice but I do respect their passion for their student.
To me as a reader of this blog, sometimes we let our passion get in the way and our heart speaks before we have time for our head to actually rethink what we are saying. When we let our passion drive our thoughts things are said that aren’t exactly nice or thoughtful of others. But it is a two-way street, when someone says something that you think is hurtful or offensive then, in a polite manner, explain to them rationally and with factual information why you think your way is right. If you can see that is not getting anywhere then stop. What good is that doing anyone (going back and forth)? Sometimes it does come across that the two of you egg each other on.
Are there things that you put out here that absolutely drive me crazy yes, and would I like to say something short fused but where would that get us. Nowhere except throwing words back and forth to each other. I am sure that there are things that I typed that drive you crazy too. I work really hard at trying to express my passion so not to offend others or hurt others feelings. We are all here for one reason. What do we think is best for our student.
Now granted, I am not in your house and I can not see your expressions. Words that are typed sometimes can be misinterpreted by the reader.
Lynn – I’ve reread my posts tonight – I don’t think anything was over the line or impolite. But sometimes it’s hard to catch yourself – maybe I missed it. I certainly have pushed it here before – most here have – especially back in Nov./Dec.
So tonight if I’ve offended – apologies. Other than CGS I don’t think anything posted here today bugged me – and really saying I’m ruining a school, well over the years I’ve heard worse. I’m a big boy (well maybe – might have to ask my wife). If others agree with or understand that sentiment including you – well I’ll keep trying to do what I think is right
I was asking for a few answers – does it really seem huge #s aren’t going to CCHS & if so what are the reasons? To an extent I’ve gotten some. Especially from you.
At this point I do think going back to rehash which school said what at board meetings/emails/position papers etc. Isn’t very productive. I do hope you’d be happy to know that this issue has brought the cluster together to share ideas, learn more about each other & have open lines of communication. There have already been 2 meetings of all cluster schools (CCHS, CMS, AP, HH, MES & Kittredge) School council members & PTA leaders, and I’m happy to say the next will be at HH. I know some have never had a chance to see our somewhat under the radar school & our success in person.
And meeting the leaders from the other schools that I did not yet know was a privilege. If some are reading here – I mean that. Some I’ve read in emails – now I have a face & more of a story – their school, their child. And maybe the same for them of me? I hope.
Anyway, I think that is progress. I’m looking forward to more. Our kids will be going to be going to school together for years to come – many already do.
I have received a number of inquiries based on this blog. Most are incredulous about the timeline. Most agreed with me from the beginning that supporting this plan was a bad idea.
The Dunwoody cluster parents that supported this idea were in the minority based on my observations. They usurped the desires of the majority of residents. I also observed this was true, based on the communications that I received, for the Lakeside and Chamblee clusters.
I published some of my thoughts on this blog at an earlier time. You can see my thoughts here: http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2016/11/6875/comment-page-1/#comment-22115
As you know, I shared my thoughts with the school council chairman, Chad Griffith, on this matter. I told him that what he was told by Dan Drake and Josh Williams, regarding the improvements to common areas, would not come to pass. Chad ignored me and dismissed my advice on this matter. Now you know that I was correct. I am disappointed by the naivete of Chad and others. I take no pleasure in telling them, I told you so.
I’m sure many on the DHS council have regrets. Some
were so worried about getting zoned out of Dunwoody. We now know that was never the case, and a false rumor started by the school district employees to divide us.
Is there a chart somewhere that shows the construction schedules for projects funded by earlier E-SPLOSTs? I’m wondering specifically about DeKalb School of the Arts, Smoke Rise Elementary, and Pleasantdale Elementary. Thanks!
Tuckermom – I don’t have the time to dig into the details school by school, project by project – but this currently remains on the DCSD website – hopefully you can find answers to your questions here. Or maybe you’ll find more questions!
Nancy mentioned earlier that the school district was not subject to any zoning regulations for the properties designated to get additions but what about permitting, especially for those in the cities that handle their own permitting? Could that be a potential roadblock?
TuckerMom, The Capital Improvement Program – Monthly Status Report (MSR) has the status and schedule for all previous e-splosts.
The SPLOST MSRs are in theory used to provide the highlights of the program and projects. You can find those status reports here. It is relatively easy to find things
Peachtree Gateway Council is hosting an event at Sequoyah MS on March 28th about the Construction Advisory Committees and the construction process – here’s the info:
Tuesday 3/28 6:30-8:00 p.m. – Come hear about plans for school building expansions and new facilities in DeKalb.
Event sponsor: Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools — parents & community invited!
“Construction Advisory Committees — DeKalb County School District” – panel discussion & Q/A session
Tuesday, March 28th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Spanish language pre-session from 5:45-6:30 p.m. (school cafeteria)
Sequoyah Middle School, 3456 Aztec Road, Doraville, GA 30340
What is a C.A.C.? How are the new C.A.C.’s different from past committees? When will the C.A.C.’s start? How will they communicate with our communities as building plans are developed?
Sherry Johnson, Region 1 Interim Superintendent, DCSD
Daniel Drake, Executive Director for Operations, DCSD
Allyson Gevertz, parent participant on recent Henderson Middle School construction committee
Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools serves Region 1 (Chamblee, Cross Keys, and Dunwoody high school clusters) and works with Parent Councils in the other DeKalb regions. In addition to our main speakers, our events share school innovations. Our 3/28 event will include brief information on Sequoyah Middle School’s debate team.
Y’know, if it’s true that the schools don’t have to hold to any of the municipal requirements, that would make things easy at Chamblee; they could free up land by decking some of the parking, and maybe get the new building on the existing footprint.
However, given that one of the stories we heard about the HS rebuild a few years ago was that there wasn’t a parking deck because the city objected, tells me that the actual situation is a bit more complex.
@ Scott – So it is Tuesday and not Thursday? The email that came out from MES and CMS had Thursday, March 28. I would greatly appreciate the clarification.
The Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools invites parents and community members to our FIRST event!
Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM
Sequoyah Middle School
3456 Aztec Rd, Atlanta, Georgia 30340
Kim Gokce and Rebekah Cohen Morris are going according to Facebook
Yes Lynn – the Tuesday 28th date as Stan & Scott have posted is right. I know they were going to send out a corrected notice. What got sent to the schools had Thur. on top & Tues. immediately below.
I can give you some insight into what is known as “immunity” from local zoning ordinance for governmental entities. I can also give you further insight into what you recall hearing about the CCHS rebuild a few years back because I was directly involved in that matter.
(1) Article IX, Section II, Paragraph I (c)(8) establishes the immunity of the school district from local zoning ordinances.
(2) When the new CCHS was built the school district played hardball with the city. They came in with their plans for the new school. The plans were not congruent with the city’s redevelopment plans, zoning ordinances, etc. In a spirit of goodwill, city leaders reached out to the district and explained their position and tried to work together to develop the look and feel for the school that would match the district’s needs with something that matched the redevelopment strategies in Chamblee. Unfortunately, the school district, as always, stiff-armed the city. Now enter this fact: the district was under a great deal of pressure to finish the project within a narrow window of time due to the type of bonds that were used to finance constructions (QSCBs). These bonds were part of a federal program to simulate the economy and came with various restrictions, including time. In addition to the time constraint, the district needed to buy a small piece of land smack in the middle of the property that was actually owned by the city of Chamblee. (Remember that old road on the other side of the school where the parking lots were? That’s the piece.) The city quickly recognized that the school district would not configure the school in a pleasing way that would be consistent with Chamblee’s redevelopment style. How did they get the school district to relent and change their design? The city would not sell that piece of property until the school district gave them what they wanted. The school district only understands one language: force. The city tried to play nicely in the sandbox first. Sadly, they only got what they wanted by playing hardball back to the district in such a way that would jeopardize their QSCB financing.
The next time you have a question about the complexity of zoning and the way the school district works, let me know. This is not the only story. The legal set up is fairly simple. DCSD doesn’t have to follow zoning. They could buy the house next to you, knock it down, and build whatever they wanted because they have immunity. It’s really a glaring problem for our state. My research shows that other states have some rules that require better cooperation between school districts and cities/counties. My opinion is that Georgia needs to reexamine this immunity issue. For another example, there’s a case between Macon/Bibb County and the Bibb County School District. The County Planning Commission sued the School District trying to say that couldn’t build something because they were not putting in adequate parking. The Planning Commission lost. The school district didn’t have to put in the required parking.
All comments related to Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools have been moved to …
Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools
March 23, 2017 – PGCS is a new educational group representing “schools throughout Region 1 of the DCSD (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody clusters as well as Tapestry, PATH, and Oakcliff Theme School.)” However, controversy seems to follow them.