Category Archives: Cross Keys Cluster

City of Brookhaven Not a Fan of Briarcliff HS Site

The Brookhaven City Council is not a fan of the school district’s current plans for the new Cross Keys Brookhaven High School.

The DeKalb County Board of Education voted to build the new Cross Keys Brookhaven HS at the former Briarcliff HS site which is East of 85 and not in Brookhaven.


The City of Brookhaven council passed this resolution at their most recent meeting.

A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF EFFORTS TO RETAIN A DEKALB COUNTY PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THE CITY OF BROOKHAVEN.

WHEREAS, the Board of Education (BOE) recently announced the location for a new high school in the Cross Keys cluster outside the City of Brookhaven limits, and

WHEREAS, the BOE decision will result in the closing of the historic Cross Keys High School and leave the City of Brookhaven without a public high school, and

WHEREAS, the City of Brookhaven comprises more than 52,000 residents and requires the public high school option, and

WHEREAS, the current Cross Keys High School serves a large population of minority and at-risk students living along Buford Highway, and

WHEREAS, Buford Highway is the home of families and businesses that support Cross Keys Cluster students, and

WHEREAS, the BOE preferred location of the new high school is separated from the community it serves by I-85, and

WHEREAS, the City of Brookhaven has made improving the quality of life of Buford Highway residents a top priority, and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council believe there are strategies and tools to collaborate with the BOE to construct a new Brookhaven High School along the Buford Highway corridor.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council and Mayor of the City of Brookhaven respectfully request the DeKalb County Board of Education reconsider its decision to close the only public high school in the City of Brookhaven, and

IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Council direct the City Manager to engage the DeKalb County School Superintendent to begin a dialogue to collaborate on the construction of a new Brookhaven High School along Buford Highway, and

IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Council requests the Brookhaven Development Authority to assess any and all available tools to assist in efforts to retain a public high school within the City of Brookhaven.

This Resolution shall be effective immediately upon its adoption.

SO RESOLVED AND EFFECTIVE, this the 24th day of April 2018.

Location of New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School

So much for the Brookhaven Cluster. The new Cross Keys Brookhaven High School will NOT be in Brookhaven.

SPLOST V includes “Build a New Cross Keys HS (2,500 seat capacity) at Briarcliff site (or cost-neutral alternative site)” with a budget of $84.8 million.

Over the last several months, the administration has brought to the board potential candidate sites ranging from 25 to 35 acres in size along the Buford Highway corridor (between North Druid Hills Road and Clairmont Road), as the potential location of the new Cross Keys HS.

The DeKalb County Board of Education voted to build the new Cross Keys HS at the former Briarcliff HS site this past Monday at the monthly board meeting. The 26.7 acre site includes the temporary John Lewis ES and North DeKalb stadium parking areas.

NO VOTE

The vote was split 3-4. The thee board members who represent the Cross Keys community (Orson, McMahan and Jester) were opposed to the Briarcliff site for the same reasons (more or less):

1. It is difficult, if not impossible, to have a high school out of the attendance zone and on the opposite side of I85 from the community it serves.
2. North Druid Hills is one of the top 10 worst congested streets in Metro Atlanta and will only get worse when the new Childrens Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA) opens.
3. The Cross Keys community has been neglected for far too long.

YES VOTE

The other four board members voting for this project did not say why they voted to proceed at the Briarcliff site. The school district put out a press release saying:

1. None of the sites reviewed were cost-neutral, and based on the additional factors shown below, the Board of Education decided to terminate their search for candidate sites and build the new Cross Keys HS at the former Briarcliff HS site.

2. The cost for the purchase of the land (not including finance costs nor the sale of the Briarcliff property) along Buford Highway would have ranged from approximately $36 to $54 million; with the finance costs and the sale of the Briarcliff property, net costs would have totaled approximately $19 to $38 million (land acquisition plus relocation and financing costs less the sale of the former Briarcliff property).

3. The candidate sites along Buford Highway included would have required the relocation of apartment units


TRAFFIC

Additionally, the school district press release attempted to address the traffic situation saying:

DCSD is coordinating a review of traffic conditions around the Briarcliff site in collaboration with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA):

* CHOA, through its Community Investment Agreement with the Brookhaven Development Authority, has already committed $200,000 to the Interchange Modification Report (IMR) soon to be initiated by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

* CHOA has committed $10 million for the local match for the City of Brookhaven for the interchange improvements to support the growth of traffic in the area due to its new facilities—this $10 million is a 20% match that will bring down an additional $40 million in federal funds for the roadway improvements.

* CHOA is conducting a detailed traffic study as part of its application to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for its Development of Regional Impact (DRI) study that reviews the traffic improvements needed in the area for the new expansion of the hospital campus situated at North Druid Hills Road and the I-85 interchange.

* DCSD is also conducting its own traffic study this spring, in collaboration with CHOA, as the architect for the new Cross Keys HS will initiate its design process for the new Cross Keys HS at the Briarcliff site.