DeKalb – SPLOST V – Facility Condition Improvements

What facilities will be renovated with SPLOST V funds collected over the next 5 years? There will be five regional meetings in October to discuss the administration’s recommendation for facility improvements and gather feedback related to the development of the final 2017‐2022 E‐SPLOST V project list.
DeKalb Schools ESPLOST V
On May 24, 2016, the voters of DeKalb approved E-SPLOST V (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – an additional penny sales tax levy for capital improvements for schools.)
Related Docs
.pdf link icon  Abbreviated referendum – Just Dekalb’s part
.pdf link icon  Complete 15 page Referendum
Focus Area Funding Allocation

Resolution Item $ millions Percentage
1. Safety and Security $15 3%
2. New Facilities and Additions $230 46%
3. Facility Condition Improvements $100 20%
4. Technology Improvements,incl. ERP $65 13%
5.Buses, Vehicles, and Other Capital Equipment $40 8%
Management and Contingency $50 10%
Totals $500 100%

New Facilities and Additions
$60 million is committed to building two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys area (one of them being the new elementary school in Brookhaven at Skyland Park). Earlier this week, the administration presented its Final Recommendation born from the Secondary Feasibility Study to address over crowding in North DeKalb middle and high schools.

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Region 1 Cluster By Attendance Zones
Presumably from the Student Move Assumptions above, these would be the region 1 clusters:
Chamblee Cluster – Montgomery ES, Huntley Hills ES, Cary Reynolds ES, Dresden ES, Kittredge
Brookhaven Cluster – Ashford Park ES, Sagamore Hills ES, Montclair ES, Woodward ES, John Lewis ES
Dunwoody Cluster – Hightower ES, Austin ES, Vanderlyn ES, Dunwoody ES, Kingsley ES, Chesnut ES
Condition of Current Facilities
These detailed assessments for each school can be found at DeKalb Schools Building S.P.A.C.E.S. Initiative
Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) ‐ Measures the amount of deferred maintenance in the building’s major systems.
Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA) ‐ Measures how well the facility supports the educational programs that it houses.
Enrollment ‐ The number of students (PK‐12) at a school based on official October student counts in 2015 and projected enrollment through 2022.
Capacity ‐ A school’s capacity is the number of students which can be accommodated in the facility given the specific educational program offerings.
Utilization ‐ Calculated by dividing the school’s current/projected enrollment by the capacity of the facility. (The utilization rate is used to determine if the facility has excess space or insufficient space for the school’s enrollment at a given time. )
Year 2022 – Projected Elementary School Data, by Region

1 55 64 10,967 8,981 -1,986 122%
2 49 72 9,702 10,003 301 97%
3 58 74 10,148 10,222 74 99%
4 57 68 6,892 7,364 472 94%
5 69 77 8,164 9,603 1,439 85%
All 57 71 45,873 46,173 300 99%

Year 2022 – Projected Middle School Data, by Region

1 92 75 4,959 3,532 -1,427 140%
2 78 72 4,178 3,693 -485 113%
3 83 81 4,345 5,380 1,035 81%
4 50 77 4,336 4,616 280 94%
5 75 77 3,551 5,027 1,476 71%
All 74 76 21,369 22,248 879 96%

Year 2022 – Projected High School Data, by Region

1 94 76 6,707 4,621 -2,086 145%
2 88 79 5,986 4,928 -1,058 121%
3 73 71 5,591 5,651 60 99%
4 86 83 6,012 7,166 1,154 84%
5 89 74 3,721 5,519 1,798 67%
All 85 76 28,017 27,884 -133 100%


Five regional meetings to discus and gather feedback related to the development of the 2017‐2022 E‐SPLOST V project list.
Oct 4 – 18, 2016
Each public hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the following locations:
• Oct. 4, 2016 at Tucker High School (Region 2)
• Oct. 11, 2016 at Miller Grove High School (Region 4)
• Oct. 13, 2016 at Chamblee High School (Region 1)
• Oct. 17, 2016 at Columbia High School (Region 5)
• Oct. 18, 2016 at Stone Mountain High School (Region 3)
Oct 4 – 24, 2016
• Online Survey on draft E-SPLOST project list
Nov 7, 2016
• Board COW discussion on E-SPLOST project list
Dec 5, 2016
• Formal Board approval of E-SPLOST project list

13 responses to “DeKalb – SPLOST V – Facility Condition Improvements

  1. I just want to thank Dekalb County for destroying Chamblee Middle School and my property value. I have saved my whole life to live in a good area so that my kids could attend a good school and Dekalb County just ruined it all. I will be upside down on my mortgage and will be forced into foreclosure because I won’t be able to sell my house. There is no way in hell I’m sending my kids to that school and I’m confident I’m not alone in this. Bye bye property tax revenues you morons. I hope the state takes over the school district because Dekalb has to be one of the worst run districts in the country.

  2. There is a public meeting on Oct. 13 at Chamblee High School at 7pm to discuss the SPLOST V project list. Anybody can show up and express their thoughts on these projects.

  3. Stuffed ballots

    Thank the Cross Keys Foundation too. They were the driving force behind this.

  4. When Superintendent Green started last July, he met with each board member individually. He then met with an independent consultant to put together Superintendent Green’s Goals And Self Evaluation. That should give you some history and context.
    Traditionally, DeKalb County and School District only have two problems, fraud and incompetence. My goals for the superintendent were simple:
    1. Don’t do anything illegal, stay out of jail.
    2. Fire the incompetent employees.
    3. Get our schools off the OSD list.
    4. Improve academic achievement across the district.
    5. Do what is right by students, parents and taxpayers across the district.
    A tall order at the time.

  5. Dear Stan,
    Please let me know if I am understanding DCSD plans correctly.
    On page 1 of the Informational Handout that DCSD provided on September 27 at “the great reveal” of their plan, it shows that the plan results in all Region 1 high schools at 99% utilization in 2022. The new Cross Keys/Brookhaven HS will have 14 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (2500 vs. 2486). The enlarged Chamblee Charter HS will have 32 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (2410 vs. 2378). The enlarged Dunwoody HS will have 12 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (2105 vs. 2093).
    The DCSD plan results in all Region 2 high schools at 99% – 100% utilization in 2022. The enlarged Lakeside HS will have 12 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (2506 vs. 2494).
    Clarkston High School, the Region 3 school projected to have severe overcrowding, is shown at 100% utilization in 2022 once their plan is implemented. Clarkston HS will have 10 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (1920 vs. 1910).
    I see a similar situation with the middle schools under the DCSD plan. Chamblee MS will have 8 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (1048 vs. 1040). Sequoyah MS will have 302 more seats than the projected 2022 enrollment, which is a large portion of its 1235 seat capacity. Peachtree Charter MS will have 8 more seats than its projected 2022 enrollment (1694 vs. 1686).
    Am I understanding this correctly? Are we spending $205M and moving over nearly 1500 HS students to end up with a Region 1 HS 2022 projected surplus of only 58 seats, a Lakeside HS 2022 projected surplus of only 12 seats, and a Clarkston HS 2022 projected surplus of only 10 seats?
    Wow. This leaves very little room for error. One additional apartment complex or housing development in Region 1 – imagine that! – and trailers are needed again.
    Please help me understand why this is a good plan.

  6. Putting aside whether either Option A or Option B are a good idea, these are the numbers as last reported by the school district.
    3,853 HS Seats Needed in Fall 2022
    1,791 MS Seats Needed in Fall 2022
    $205 million – Final proposed option for middle and high schools
    $60 million – two new elementary schools in Region 1
    Option B – Redistricts 3,000ish
    Why this is a good plan? Could you put a finer point on your concern with this plan? – If you’re asking why are we spending a quarter of a billion dollars to probably be over capacity again by the time this is finished … We have a limited budget and unless we redistrict more students, then adding more seats is going to cost more money.

  7. Dear Stan,
    Your reply says it all “why are we spending a quarter of a billion dollars to probably be over capacity again by the time this is finished?”
    Yes, the budget is limited. It is foolish to expect that 34% of one ESPLOST cycle could fix problems that have been ignored for years. DCSD is already proposing to spend more than they budgeted. So why not a little bit more?
    I am no fan of mega-high schools. But since it appears that DCSD has chosen this path, why not build enough capacity for a reasonable “margin of safety?” If Dan Drake and his team are off by as little as 1% all of the disruption and money spent won’t be enough. Either drastic redistricting or trailers would be the options, both of which would be embarrassing and just plain wrong for the students, teachers, and families who bear the burden of learning in construction sites.
    I think that it would be more cost-effective and wise to add 2-3% more seats at the outset rather trying to add on later, assuming that voters would support another ESPLOST cycle to fix ESPLOST-V mistakes.
    I know that money doesn’t grow on trees. But I think this is a very risky plan.

  8. To your point,
    If I heard one thing loud and clear it was “Don’t move the magnets”. But, if I heard two things loud and clear, the second thing would be “No band-aids. Fix this right the first time.” Option A, while more expensive and more redistricting, adds more seats and minimizes risk. By risk, I mean adding 750 seats to Lakeside HS with the caveat that we will need to be creative in figuring out how to make this work … is more risky than building a new school. That risk goes for DHS and CCHS as well.
    $35 Million – The current final recommended option will require an additional $35 million in revenue from somewhere (surplus property or bonds paid for by the general fund.) If it is decided that Option A is the correct route, then additional funding can be procured in the same manner.

  9. @Anon, They’re projecting that MES will send 563 kids to CHHS, APES will send 350 kids to CKHS, and SHES will send 250 kids to CKHS. I think these projections are overly optimistic. I don’t think these three communities will be sending that many kids to these two high schools under this proposed plan. These parents have other options and they will choose other options, so the lack of seating will NOT be an issue.
    You’re looking at this from the supply side:
    -“How can meet the needs of our rapidly growing community ?”
    -“What can we do to ensure our children have adequate facilities?”
    -“What can we do to make sure the Dekalb county school system is a destination for middle class families?”
    -“What can we do to alleviate the traffic problems that acts as a hidden tax on people’s health, time, and money?”
    But, you should be looking at this from the demand side:
    -“Our schools are overcrowded. What can we do to make the families that live here consider other options so that we can free up more space?”
    -“What can we do to deter middle class families from moving in and causing more issues with overcapacity 7 years down the road?”
    -“How do we create more traffic so that people can’t get into Dekalb even if they wanted too?”
    You’re thinking of ways to increase the supply and quality of a public service. They’ve found a way to reduce demand for it instead. Problem solved.

  10. In the last day or two, it was announced that Pulte Homes is purchasing two apartment complexes to replace them with homes and townhomes. While these aren’t huge complexes, I can guarantee that the new product won’t send nearly as many children to the schools as the current apartments do.
    I believe that due to changes like this there will actually be excess capacity, at some point, when all is said and done. The redevelopment factor, which is likely to continue up Buford Highway, is one of the things that makes projecting tricky.
    To the CCHS folks who simply wanted to be left alone — Region 1 needs additional space. The magnet stays put and the system adds on to increase capacity. Would you prefer the magnet move and those 600 or seats become free?

  11. Dear thai,
    Well said, and sadly it matches my observations over the years.
    Dear anon2,
    I think that many in the CCHS community have accepted that a bigger school is inevitable. But I think CCHS would rather have a surplus of more than 32 seats in return for the disruption of a building program. As Stan said, “No band-aids. Fix this right the first time.”
    Ending up with a projected surplus of only 32 seats 6 years from now doesn’t sound like “fixing it right the first time.”
    But maybe thai is right. Maybe DCSD is counting on families with means to leave CCHS and the other Region 1 high schools so that the 58 seat surplus in 2022 will be just fine.

  12. The future so dark for CCHS

    With SQHS moving into CCHS, you can kiss CCHS national rankings goodbye and you can fully expect many parents to move their kids out. CCHS, even if it keeps the magnet, will fall down significantly. As a result, you will see resident families who aren’t magnet selected and have the means to do so either move out or go private.

  13. If you give a mouse a cookie….
    Well, if you give DCSD SPLOST $$, the will destroy the few good schools