Category Archives: Trailers

Trailers at Cross Keys High School


The trailers have been placed at Cross Keys for a renovation project. They are not there due to enrollment/capacity issues.
E-SPLOST V includes approximately $300 million for “New Facilities and Additions” to address capacity needs across the district. The administration proposed large additions to the overcrowded high schools of Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside, even though these schools are already on postage stamp sized campuses. Cross Keys will receive a new high school.
The administration is pursuing a strategy to equally distribute the immigrant population, clustered around the Buford Corridor, to Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside and Cross Keys. Once Cross keys is rebuilt on its new site and the new high school is built, the administration plans to redistrict from the Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside feeder schools to Cross Keys to more evenly balance the immigrant population. The Board of Education approved this approach. I was the only opposing vote. With the development that continues to occur in the Perimeter region, I remain convinced that a new Doraville area high school needs to be built rather than shoving more students on small campuses.
In accordance with the E-SPLOST V Project Listing and Sequencing, Phase I includes the conversion of the current Cross Keys High School (CKHS) to a middle school. This conversion is estimated to be completed sometime in 2020 and cost $10 million. A new Cross Keys/Brookhaven High School is expected to be built by 2021 and cost $85 million.
The Role of the City and County Governments
The school district is immune from zoning laws created in the jurisdictions in which it operates. The school district is not immune from all other laws of the jurisdiction, such as building codes and other development requirements. The question of how different governmental entities operating within one jurisdiction with respect to zoning and all other ordinances became settled law, or stare decisis, with the rulings for two court cases.
City of Atlanta and Decatur Enforce Codes
The City of Atlanta and Decatur enforce codes and protect the interests of its citizens.  Just recently, the Decatur School District went to the City of Decatur council to REQUEST PERMISSION to add trailers to one of their schools inside the city limits of Decatur. All school trailers in Decatur must be approved by the city council before installation. Before the City of Decatur council would approve the trailers, they wanted to know:

  • Whether the proposed use is suitable in view of the use and development of adjacent and nearby property.
  • Whether the proposed use adversely affects the existing use or usability of adjacent or nearby property.
  • Whether the proposed use results in a use which will or could cause an excessive or burdensome use of existing streets, transportation facilities, utilities or other public facilities.
  • Whether there is adequate ingress and egress to the subject property, including evaluation of the traffic impact of the proposed use relative to street capacity and safety of public streets and nearby pedestrian uses.
  • Whether there are other existing or changing conditions which, because of their impact on the public health, safety, morality and general welfare of the community, give supporting grounds for either approval or disapproval of the proposed use.

Marshall Orson is the District 2 representative on the Board of Education. His district includes Cross Keys High School.

Marshall Orson
DeKalb Schools Board of Education

Addressing the overcrowding issue in the Cross Keys cluster is one of our highest priorities given the failure of previous boards and administrations to do so. Given these circumstances, we will be building a new high school for the cluster (in addition to two new elementary schools and renovations of other schools including the current Cross Keys High School which will become a middle school). We are searching diligently for a suitable property in order to build this school as quickly (and prudently) as possible.
The Administration can address the logistics issues raised [in Rebekah’s comments]. In an urban setting, space is frequently a challenge and other schools face similar issues (e.g. Due to space constraints, many athletes at Druid Hills High School travel to Druid Hills Middle School for practices and/or matches). We are committed to providing comparable opportunities for all students and continue to work to address circumstances where there are obstacles to doing so.
Marshall Orson

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Related Posts

Enforcing Zoning, Building, and Other Ordinances
May 3, 2017 – What authority does a city or county have in enforcing its zoning, building, and other ordinances with respect to temporary and permanent building on school property? This question with respect to zoning and all other ordinances became settled law with the rulings on two court cases.

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DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project Schedule
March 20, 2017 – 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.

New Doraville Elementary School – Update

The Approved Cross Keys Redistricting Plan resulted in the reduction of approximately 15 trailer classrooms in the Cross Keys Cluster.
Unfortunately, Dresden Elementary and Cary Reynolds Elementary still have a combined 42 portable classroom units on their grounds today.


The 2017-2022 E-SPLOST Project List includes two new elementary schools along the Buford Hwy.
Elementary School Capacity Additions
1. Build new John Lewis ES (900 FTE plus land purchase): $30.0M
2. Build new ES for Cross Keys North (900 FTE plus land purchase): $30.0M


Yesterday the DeKalb County Board of Education approved approximately $8.2 million for the sales and purchase of a 9.7 acre apartment complex at 3630 Shallowford Road in Doraville. DeKalb Schools plans to build its new Doraville Elementary School in 2018.
The new campus will primarily provide relief to Dresden Elementary and Cary Reynolds Elementary.
Monetary incentives will be offered jointly by the apartment complex owners and DCSD to help residents relocate by the end of August. To allow construction of the new 900-seat elementary school by the fall 2020 opening date, current tenants will be provided financial incentives to encourage them to relocate using incentives based on the type of lease in place (month-to-month versus a longer term). However, no tenant will be required to move out of their apartment prior to the expiration of their lease.

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

“We are excited to add a state-of-the-art elementary school that will get our students out of portable units and into permanent classrooms, which is always our aim. At the same time, we are mindful of the impact this work will have on families, many of whom have children enrolled in our schools. We plan to be good neighbors through this delicate process.”


DeKalb Schools buys property for new school; hundreds at Doraville complex to be displaced
June 14, 2017 – The DeKalb County School District late Monday approved the purchase of a Doraville apartment complex, where they hope to build a new elementary school to alleviate overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster of schools.
The purchase of 3630 Shallowford Road will displace dozens of families in the 104-unit Shallowford Garden Apartments, giving them until the end of August to find new housing.

Apartment property in Doraville purchased for elementary school
June 14, 2017 – DeKalb County School District (DCSD) announced the purchase of 9.7 acres on 3630 Shallowford Road in Doraville on June 13 for the purpose of building a 900-seat Cross Keys-area elementary school, garnering mixed responses from the public.
The property is currently the site of Shallowford Gardens Apartments, a 104-unit complex offering one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 626 to 825 square feet. The majority of residents are served by DCSD’s Cary Reynolds Elementary, Sequoyah Middle and Cross Keys High schools.
The apartment complex is located less than a mile from a MARTA station and serves a population typical of Buford Highway, many of whom are low-income and non-English speaking.

Displaced Doraville apartment residents speak out
Lease holders were informed at a public meeting held at First Baptist Church of Doraville on June 14 that they will receive a $2,250 incentive to move. At the meeting, former owner and seller John Lantz said legal action would be taken if tenants do not find lodging elsewhere.
“Two and a half months is more than adequate,” Lantz said.
At the meeting, DCSD director of planning Dan Drake said the school district considered more than a dozen other sites for the future Doraville elementary school. Drake did not name other properties considered.
According to residents of Shallowford Gardens—many of whom have been there for more than a decade—say the process is unjust.