Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?

Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the Chamblee Charter High School cluster community?

Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS) currently has 1,624 students enrolled. School district administration is currently predicting CCHS will have 2,328 students (518 students over current capacity) by year 2022. To address the capacity issues, the administration plans on constructing a 600-seat, three-story addition extending the current footprint and bringing the school to 120 classrooms with a 2,410 student capacity
The conceptual plan includes

  • 116 space parking lot in front of school fronting Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
  • Kitchen extension (984 sq/ft)
  • Cafeteria extension (1,891 sq/ft)
  • Media center expansion (2,647 sq/ft)
  • 2 story employee parking garage
School Kitchen Cafeteria Media Center
Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size
Lakeside HS 4,258 1,546 5,804 8,560 2,025 10,585 6,466 4,391 10,857
Dunwoody HS 2,469 1,731 4,200 7,536 485 8,021 5,795 2,020 7,815
Chamblee Charter HS 4,322 984 5,306 7,719 1,891 9,610 6,963 2,647 9,610

Stan Jester

How is this 600 seat building addition good for the existing Chamblee Charter HS community? Chamblee Charter HS Governing Board and Chamblee MS PTSA expressly don’t want it. I am opposed to this addition for the reasons below.
In the school district and board’s infinite wisdom, we are moving forward with this plan. Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the CCHS cluster community? I suspect, like whatever support there is for the Dunwoody additions, any support for the CCHS building additions are driven by redistricting.

Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection
This GA DOE Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection applies to the existing sites on which a new educational facility will be constructed. In accordance with these guidelines, the minimum useable acreage requirements of the State Board of Education are 20 acres plus one acre for each 100 students in FTE for High School Facilities.
If the new capacity for CCHS is 2,400 students, then the total site acreage for this high school should be at least 44 acres.
However, the 2016 Chamblee Charter HS School Assessment Report says the school has a total area of 20.6 acres. The guidelines allow for a waiver or variance of the minimum useable acreage requirements. Unless DeKalb Schools plans on purchasing 20+ more acres, then DeKalb must get waivers for the GA DOE Educational Facility Site Selection guidelines.
Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for Educational Facilities
The Georgia Department of Education spells out the facilities square footage requirements in the Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for EducationalFacilities
Formula for Cafeteria Requirements:Middle and High School = Total FTE divided by 3.15 multiplied by 12
(FTE x 3.809). The bare minimum requirement for a school with a capacity of 2,400 students is 9,141 sq/ft. The conceptual plan has 9,610 sq/ft. While the cafeteria meets state standards, it won’t exceed the standards by as much as it does now. The added cafeteria space is not proportional to the added student capacity of the school. There is less cafeteria space per student.
Kitchen Requirements and all support areas for food service: Schools with more than 2,100 students require at least 4,200 sq/ft of kitchen and food service area. The conceptual plan has 5,306 sq/ft. Once again, while the conceptual plans for the kitchen addition meet state standards, the addition is not proportional to the added student capacity. There is less kitchen space per student.
The DOE guidelines require a minimum of 8,175 sq/ft for 2,400 students. The conceptual plan has 9,600 sq/ft. The conceptual plans are proportional to the new building addition.
Major high school facility corridors shall be at least 12 feet wide with an additional foot added for each width of lockers to be located in the corridor. The corridors already meet state standards and will not be adjusted. As the population grows to capacity, the students can expect to be packed in the hallways like sardines.
High schools must have a gym of at least 22,000 sq/ft. The size of the gym will not be adjusted. All problems with the current capacity of the gym will be exacerbated as the student population grows.
Traffic, City Code, Parking, etc…
The above list is not inclusive of all the reasons I object to this building addition.

Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the existing CCHS cluster?
I’m still waiting to hear from anybody that has anything positive to say about the Dunwoody building additions. DHS school council, Dunwoody School Daze, the two ladies from Kingsley and Chesnut that wrote the board and senior administration regarding their concerns about my representation of the community, I challenge you all to tell me the positives that would come from the Dunwoody HS building additions that wouldn’t happen otherwise. –Stan

Furthermore, not only is it a bad idea once … the district plans to continue adding building additions to these schools every 5 years or so.
November 2016 FAQ
10. Why build to a utilization of 100% rather than adding additional capacity?
Rather than risk the cost of “overbuilding” by adding much more capacity than is needed, or “underbuilding” by building much less capacity than is needed, the District is recommending adding capacity as the forecast data indicates is needed. Our buildings will be designed so that, if warranted, we can add additional building capacity to accommodate future student capacity needs at each school where possible.

Related posts

Pros and Cons of adding 600 seats to Dunwoody HS
January 7, 2017 – Moving forward, I’m trying to understand the support for the building addition at Dunwoody High School.

109 responses to “Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?

  1. Stan,
    You posted on the 20th that you asked about the construction committees on Jan. 19th and the administration said they would get back to you by the next Friday (yesterday). Do you have an update for us?

  2. Joshua Williams, Dekalb Schools Chief Operating Officer

    sent via email
    In early February, the District will release the announcement detailing the process for how the construction committees will be selected.
    District staff are working to finalize the plans for training and support in advance of the February announcement detailing the process for how the committees will be selected and operate.

  3. chamblee getting screwed

    Maybe we should slow all of this down pending Trump’s policies.

  4. @Stan: Again I would like to ask this in public and hope you can get a question answered for me that I am sure is on everyone’s mind. I can tell from Josh Williams email, he is skirting the issue with you that he has been with me. Let’s say I want to be on a construction committee and help, I just do not know what school to help out. Would it be CK or CHHS? Also, there are many that are many CK parents that have needs and wants to be added to the CHHS cluster. I can’t see how we can help our learners when we are not building a school or addition that tailor to the students’ needs that will be using the school.

  5. Some schools have already begun selecting construction committee members – while the district works on crafting its announcement in February on how the committees will be selected and operate.
    Stan, Below is a question/answer posted on the web site from the Nov. On the Scene meeting. When will these comprehensive transportation and public utility impact analysis studies will begin, when will the formal meetings with the community jurisdictions take place and what are the avenues whereby all parties will be able to weigh in?
    Question: We have traffic problems in the Lakeside High School community. Briarcliff Road in front of LHS is a two- lane that is bumper-to-bumper during arrival and dismissal school hours. Emergency vehicles cannot respond in a timely manner, and more cars and buses will further detract from our quality of life in the LHS community. It is inconceivable that the school system would consider increasing capacity here. Please do not add seats! To what extent is traffic planning and public safety considered in decisions to add seats or schools to our community?
    The district cares deeply about the quality of our communities, and we’re sensitive to traffic problems in several areas around schools. The short answer: We’re working on it.
    We’re currently planning a comprehensive transportation and public utility impact analysis in areas where we need new schools and school expansions to solve overcrowding issues.
    We will formally meet with local school and community jurisdictions as we plan and implement this comprehensive analysis. All parties will be able to weigh in on and strategically prepare for any necessary improvements.
    Traffic and transportation issues have a high priority, as we view them to be fundamental to safety and security at our schools.

  6. The DCSD answer to the question about traffic planning sounds logical – IF it was being done as part of deciding where to build new schools and where to build additions.
    However, DCSD is doing this AFTER those decisions have been made.
    Any reasonable person knows that Briarcliff cannot absorb adding 750 more seats, with associated teachers, at Lakeside. Any reasonable person knows that adding 600 more seats at Dunwoody and Chamblee, on streets that are already busy and have new construction going on now, is nuts.
    The emperor has no clothes! Although many folks continue to point this out, it does no good. Maybe our local governments will have the guts to stop this foolishness, but by then we will have lost so much time. So glad my babies have graduated already.

  7. Tim DeBardelaben

    People I hate telling you this but DCSD does not care about anybody’s community. They are going to do what Marshall Orson, Jim McMahan, and Joshua Williams want to do. This whole deal is a fiasco. Instead of holding people accountable for their past failures they are going to double down on their previous mistakes and waste money exactly like they did before that got them put on probation.DCSD is on that path again. They think their own rules are there to be broken. Classic example is John Lewis Elementary School. Then the conflicts at meetings by BOE members. Stan knows I do not always agree with him, but the way he has been addressed by fellow BOE members would have been enough that I would never had been as civil as Stan.Go back and look at the reasons DCSD was put on probation. You will see what I am talking about. Half of the comments on this post sounds like they come straight out of the sixties.

  8. This is a very good article that was just published on the Brookhaven Post website. I am seriously wondering if the school system as done its due diligence when adding such huge additions.

  9. DeKalb Sewer Capacity Issue Backs Up Mercy Care Facility Opening Date in Chamblee

    Chamblee, GA, February 21, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Mercy Care officially broke ground in October of 2016 on its new 45,000 square foot clinic facility, slated to open in spring 2017 at the 5134 Peachtree Road location in Chamblee. But now, with the facility being largely completed, opening the facility that largely serves the poor and underserved, has been stalled due to “unexpected and complicated” DeKalb County sewer capacity issues.
    “The county is requiring Mercy Care to make significant adjustments to the clinic’s wastewater handling system before we can obtain a certificate of occupancy,” explains Mercy Care. “Because this requirement was only recently conveyed by the county, our project team—including contractors and architects—has been working closely with county officials to develop a feasible solution. With as much information as we have now—and details are still very much in flux—we anticipate resolving this issue and opening not before late April or early May 2017.”
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