Board Questions and Answers
E-SPLOST Project List Presentation
Jim McMahan – Once the board votes on the project list, can that list be changed?
Josh Williams – In December we will ask you to approve a final project list that includes feedback we get over the next couple of weeks. Our intent is that this is the project list we use moving forward.
Superintendent Green – If there were any changes to the list, the project would have to be considered undoable.
Josh Williams – The referendum was extremely broad and flexible. Any changes to this current project list should come before the board for transparency to the community.
Jim McMahan – We should define the process for which change could occur.
Superintendent Green – When is the project list set in stone?
Josh Williams – December
Marshall Orson – The voters voted on broad categories giving us flexibility to change the list. The voters didn’t vote on the details, so we are not locked in.
Nina Gupta – You can change the project list details, just not the broad categories.
Stan Jester – Ms Hackemeyer mentioned precedent about being locked into a project list if flyers went out.
Jennifer Hackemeyer (DeKalb Schools Chief Legal Officer) – That was if the flyers went out before the referendum
Stan Jester – Clarkston HS is 200+ seats over capacity. But it’s in the middle of 4 or 5 clusters way under capacity. Half of the clarkston population is closer to Towers high school which is way under capacity. Why not redistrict those students to Towers.
Dan Drake – We looked at the various high schools they are closer to that are under capacity. We would have more likely gone with Redan HS. But, It would have created split feeders.
Stan Jester – Is Indian Creek back on the list for a renovation?
Dan Drake – Yes. Indian Creek is a tear down rebuild to a 1,200 seat elementary school.
Stan Jester – The current condition of Indian Creek is pretty good. We’re talking about tearing down a perfectly good school.
Dan Drake – Indian Creek, we want to add capacity. More than 800 students are within walking distance of the school. We looked at renovations, but thought it was more cost effective to tear it down and build a new school.
Stan Jester – As we discussed, even after the December vote, we’re not bound to the 750 seats at Lakeside right?
Dan Drake – The referendum gives us the flexibility to make those changes as long as we stay within the dollar amount designated in the categories.
Stan Jester – So we could come back later and decide to build a satellite Lakeside HS somewhere?
Josh Williams – It depends on the budget. We have some flexibility after the December vote. We currently intend on building a 750 seat addition at LHS.
Stan Jester – Month after month with stakeholder engagement, as the consultants put it, there was overwhelming support for a new Seuqouyah area high school. After all the stakeholder engagement, everbody wanted a new Doraville cluster. Why didn’t we go in that direction?
Dan Drake – In the third round everybody wanted the Doraville cluster. But the online survey came out for additions to the existing schools
Stan Jester – I respectfully disagree. We had 3 rounds of public meetings and they overwhelmingly wanted a Doraville High School. Throughout the survey everybody wanted the Doraville cluster until the very end. School councils pushed at the end for Option B because they thought they were getting renovations to all their common areas. Now they know they are not and have changed their minds.
Josh Williams – In the presentation there is an email address for community questions and comments. We’ll take and consolidate those emails.
Stan Jester – Have we talked to people in Doraville like the mayor? Does the mayor want a cluster?
Dr. Green – We talked to the mayor but that topic did not come up. The mayor wanted to know about Cary Reynolds. The mayor didn’t realize at the time that a new elementary school would be brought into the area. We met about a week or so ago.
Stan Jester – At that meeting she didn’t say she wanted a cluster for her area?
Dr. Green – That did not come up.
Dan Drake – There was some discussion about a high school, but not a cluster.
Stan Jester – So she said she wanted a high school and elementary school. They are already have a middle school, that sounds like a cluster.
Dr. Green – The main topic was to advocate for Cary Reynolds.
Stan Jester – Did she say she wanted a high school?
Dr. Green – We talked about Cary Renolds. Then we looked at the bigger picture and saw that a new elementary school would be placed in that area. The conversation stayed with the renovation knowing they were getting a new elementary school.
Stan Jester – So, no discussion about the high school?
Dr. Green – No.