Where to Build the New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School

Where is the new Cross Keys Brookhaven HS going?

The E-SPLOST V project list includes
• Convert existing Cross Keys HS to a new 1,500 seat Cross Keys MS
• Build a new 2,500 seat Cross Keys HS at Briarcliff site (or “cost‐neutral” location in Brookhaven area)
$85 million was budgeted for a New Cross Keys HS at the former Briarcliff HS site (or cost-neutral alternative site). A majority of the new Cross Keys High School population will live West of I-85 plus students from Sagamore and/or perhaps Oak Grove. The current Briarcliff HS site is East of I-85 on Druid Hills Rd and sits on 17.6 acres. The school district just recently purchased property in Doraville for roughly $1 million per acre.
According to the E-SPLOST V Project Schedule, the new Cross Keys HS project anticipated start date is August of this year. The big questions are:
• Where’s it going?
• How much is it going to cost?
• Are we willing to go over budget to relocate and build the new Cross Keys High School West of I-85?
• If so, where does that money come from?
The school district has spent a lot of time attempting to answer the first two questions. I think there are numerous options West of I-85. Eventually the school district will have to build a high school West of I-85 and land is not getting any cheaper.

Nothing is set in stone, but I don’t think the board or administration want to spend the extra money to do the logical thing and put the high school inside the attendance zone it will serve. The Ashford Park elementary community apparently has the same feeling and is emailing this template to the board.

DeKalb School Board Members and Administration,
As concerned parents in the Ashford Park School district, we are writing to express our ideas regarding the location of the Board-approved new high school in Region 1. To give you some background, Ashford Park Elementary is a school that should make you and DeKalb County School District very proud. We are ranked in the top 5% of all schools in the state of Georgia. This is a statistic that we are very proud of, and if you look back even five years ago, our school was not performing at this level. We are a school that has been recognized by the State of Georgia as a Beating the Odds School by performing higher than expected. We are also a school that is diverse and serving ALL students as evidenced by our growth scores. We are not only STEM certified, but we also house a very successful dual immersion program and are a special needs hub. If you haven’t had a chance to come to Ashford Park Elementary School, we invite you to do so. This community is passionate about our school.
We are currently part of the high-performing Chamblee cluster. Back in the Fall of 2016, we proposed the idea that the new high school for Region 1 should be located in Brookhaven and specifically in or near the current Cross Keys High School. We gained a great deal of community support as we pushed for this new “Brookhaven” High School.
All along, we have supported the idea of selling DCSD’s Briarcliff location (NOT including the stadium) and purchasing land near the current Cross Keys High School. While we know that the value of the land in that area has gone up over the past year and a half, we also know the Briarcliff property has also increased in value. We know that there is a lot of pressure and consideration that goes into making these types of decisions, however, we want to ensure that ALL options are fully vetted before making a decision. We are aware that there are currently a few potential options near Cross Keys High School that should be considered as potential sites of the new school. Specifically, we know that there are currently 26 acres that we believe should be considered as a possible location. Before the Board makes any decisions, we want to know that all options have been thoroughly pursued – beyond mere appraisals.
Another consideration beyond location is the size of the campus. While even 26 acres is not ideal, we understand that the Briarcliff campus property is only 17 acres with a school for more than 2000 students planned. At 17 acres, this location would be the second smallest high school campus in DeKalb. We understand that urban campuses tend to be smaller (and receive waivers from the state), but, in comparison, the Lakeside campus which currently holds 2200 students (and is being designed for 2500) is nearly twice the size of Briarcliff at 33 acres.
In addition to location and size, the idea of placing the new high school on the existing Briarcliff site is one that we cannot rally behind for other tangible and intangible reasons. We feel strongly that placing the new school on that site will remove it from the community it is meant to serve. Disadvantaged families will be the ones to suffer most since transportation will be an issue. As it stands now, N. Druid Hills Road carried 50,000 cars and 1,000 trucks per day in 2016. The numbers now are most likely even higher, and the new Children’s Healthcare could bring another 15,000 or so vehicles per day. In metro Atlanta, our days are often planned out with travel times in mind. A ten-minute drive for essential services is typically a maximum. A drive from South Brookhaven to the Briarcliff site right now can take close to 30 minutes, and longer from other areas of the potential attendance zone. This drive likely will only be worse at two critical time periods of the day—morning rush hour and afternoon shift change at the hospital, each of which would coincide with the major transportation times for the school. Further, Ashford Parkelementary currently is 2.5 miles from Chamblee High School and would be 2.9 miles from the current Cross Keys High School. The Briarcliff site is 5.4 miles away, which would more than double the distance from Ashford ParkES.
Schools thrive when the neighborhoods they serve actually attend the schools and get involved. We feel strongly that putting the new high school on a site that is far removed from the community it serves, and in the middle of a traffic nightmare, will dampen interest and support for the school. We have made progress in building a relationship between the community and the school district and we fear that a decision of this sort would reverse the progress we have made.
As concerned parents and community members of Ashford Park Elementary School, we want to know that the Board of Education and the DeKalb County School District is looking at ALL possibilities before making any decisions. Thank you in advance.

55 responses to “Where to Build the New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School

  1. I am not from Ashford Park, but would like to offer my 100% support to their position.

  2. Interesting… the above letter makes EVERY valid point for a Doraville Hogh School. Chamblee cluster stays intact split the cross keys cluster making two new high schools and no renovations to Lakeside , Dunwoody, or a Chamblee. Thank s is what some have been stating for 2 years. “Get in bed with the Devil you are bound to get burned!” They thought “some” had their backs…. crickets!!!

  3. At the end of the day, it points that a new Doraville High School was the correct path. But the social engineers of the Dekalb School Board had to get in the way. What a mess!

  4. The combined old Briarcliff and Kitteredge site is 31 acres. So the Kitteredge building will remain as is if this site is selected?

  5. Tim DeBardelaben

    First I have to ask…Has Brookhaven finally realized that they can not afford their own School System? Know for the last several years they have been lobbying at the Capital to get law changed so can have their own. Know also once they realized their own School System wasn’t going to happen, they opened their own State Charter School, NOT a DCSD CHARTER SCHOOL. If they were opposed so much to DCSD that they went State Charter, why do they think DCSD should take a E.S. that is in top 5% that feeds into one of the top performing H.S. Cluster. Why fix something that isn’t broke?
    Look at the numbers…
    Per DCSD own numbers Briarcliff H.S. Would have Cost $25-29 million to rehab to today’s codes and school standards.
    Cobb County rebuilt Walton H.S. By using existing land for $48 million
    DCSD has budgeted $85 million for a new H.S.at the Briarcliff H.S. site or cost equivalent. Note that the cost equivalent is not what it would to build new school at Briarcliff site, but the equivalent price to the $85 million they budgeted. So in reality the difference of building at Briarcliff site and a Brookhaven site is approximately $35 million.
    To think that building a bigger H.S. will solve the overcrowding problem seems ridiculous to me. DCSD needs another cluster to help with all the overcrowding. Many of our High Schools have overcrowding. Cross Keys Druid Hills, Lakeside, Tucker and Clarkston all need help. By rebuilding on Briarcliff site DCSD would have enough money budgeted to add new M.S. on what is now John Lewis E.S. Move Magnet programs from Chamblee H.S. to Briarcliff site. That would free up 500+ seats at Chamblee. Plus because Briarcliff site has a bus route that runs from Brookhaven Station directly to Kensington Station, more students would have easier access from North-South line and East-West rail line. Then make cluster of Montclair, Sagamore Hills, Briar Vista and one other. This would give relief to Druid Hills,Cross Keys and Lakeside. Sagamore Hills would not be a split feeder school. The free seats at Chamblee could be used to help Tucker or Dunwoody H.S. and there overcrowding.
    If DCSD sells off Briarcliff site, what will they do if/when they lose Druid Hills H.S. to city of Atlanta? If Druid Hills the neighborhood follows Emory into the City of Atlanta, DHHS is GONE. Where do the students go that are not annexed? Fernbank E.S. to Clarkston cluster and Briar Vista E.S.to Cross Keys? They may decide to be annexed also to follow DHHS to city. At which time you could see the reforming of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster only this time in APS.

  6. It’s just a matter of time before Druid Hills HS gets annexed into Atlanta Public Schools (APS). Let me know if anybody sees any chance whatsoever that Druid Hills HS doesn’t get annexed into APS in the next 5 years.
    Seems prudent to go ahead and sell Druid Hills HS and rebuild a school at Briarcliff for Druid Hills and Lakeside. The first step in that direction would be to build a high school at Briarcliff.

  7. Stan, so if the decision is the old Briarcliff site, the entire 31 acres would be used for a future highschool?
    Tim, Brookhaven has their hand full with what they have now. Let’s hope they will not further involve themselves with education.

  8. Well that is quite the epistle! I completely agree except that I don’t think we should sell the Briarcliff property. We need that for another high school in the District. What they are actually advocating for is a new high school in the Doraville area. The fact is that we will need 2 new high schools. And the one near Adams stadium needs to be some kind of forward-thinking small campus focused on high achievers and vo-tech. Something really different and unique. Something for everyone Something to take the burden off Lakeside. And off Druid Hills if that gets annexed to Atlanta.

  9. Darryl,
    You are correct that DCSD owns 31 acres on North Druid Hills. But implying that all 31 acres could be used for the new high school isn’t accurate.
    The Briarcliff site is 17.58 acres, the Adams stadium property is 9.77 acres, and the old Kittredge site is 3.84 acres. Perhaps some of the Adams stadium property could be used for the new high school, but it’s wrong to include that acreage with the school site unless the stadium belongs to the school for the exclusive use of its athletes.
    Adams stadium is a regional asset, the home stadium for several high schools. (There are only 5 stadiums in all of DCSD.) The District schedules events there very frequently, especially in the spring.
    As Chamblee Charter High School athletes know, just because North DeKalb stadium is adjacent to the campus does NOT mean that CCHS athletes can practice on it when they need to. It’s quite the opposite, actually, since CCHS athletes can only use it when it isn’t needed for Region 1 games (football, soccer, lacrosse, track and field) or when DCSD Athletics decides to use it for non-Region 1 events.
    CCHS, unlike all other DCSD high schools, has no full-sized football field and track for the use of its athletes. The only place its track and field athletes can train is North DeKalb stadium, which is often unavailable for practice.
    If I was a stakeholder of the new Cross Keys HS and it is built at the Briarcliff site, I would demand either a separate track and full-sized football field for use of student athletes, or a binding, written agreement that guaranteed that those athletes would have at least 80% use of Adams stadium for practice.

  10. Tim DeBardelaben

    Darryl, last I heard , which has been awhile, the old Kittredge / John Lewis E.S. Is slated for demolition when John Lewis moves to new school in Skyland. Kittredge is where I say build a Middle School to create a Mega Campus like Parkwood H.S. In Gwinnett. H.S.,M.S and Stadium all in one location. Since DCSD obviously likes to build parking decks, they could one where Briarcliff tennis courts are located. It could serv the two schools during weekdays and solve the parking problem at Adams Stadium for football season.

  11. Anon, it would be interesting to see the plat you reference dividing out the three areas comprising the 31 acres. Regarding Adams Stadium, the whole 31 acres has much greater value if flipped for another parcel. Retaining Adams separate and apart from a school doesn’t make much sense unless the remaining property is developed as retail. Also, will DeKalb be keeping the swimming pool associated with the park behind the school?

  12. Tim DeBardelaben

    Darryl, the land Briarcliff and rest of property is zoned residential. If you remember when DCSD tried selling it before BOC would not rezone property and deal fell through. Dekalb Parks and Recreation owns pool and gravel parking lot above it. They also own the ball fields. DCSD owns the area they park cars for football games. That area use to be Kittredge playground. I have been told that when demolition is complete at Briarcliff that DCSD will ask for rezoning of that land to commercial. I wonder how DCSD can ask for rezoning of the property when as landowner DCSD does NOT have to follow Zoning Laws. Also how will they know what type zoning to ask for unless they already have a buyer. My guess is Emory wants that property but do not want to go before Dekalb BOC to ask for rezoning. If Emory gets their hands on Briarcliff you can count on a big chunk of unincorporated Dekalb into either Brookhaven and Atlanta. Remember Channel 46 caught Marshall Orson conspiring with City of Atlanta officials about annexing Druid Hills into City of Atlanta.

  13. Darryl,
    this link shows the size and general shape/location of all DCSD facilities: http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/documents/planning/maps/facility-and-property.pdf.
    The DeKalb County parks map shows a 2 acre Kittredge park behind the old Kittredge school.
    But remember that DeKalb County Schools and DeKalb County are two separate entities.
    Also, you write “Retaining Adams separate and apart from a school doesn’t make much sense.”
    Yet all DCSD stadiums are separate and apart from a school. North DeKalb is the only stadium that is adjacent to a school, and as I wrote before this provides no advantage to the adjacent school.
    DCSD has only 5 stadiums for all of its high schools. North DeKalb is in Region 1, Adams and Avondale are in Region 2, Hallford is in Region 3, and Godfrey is in Region 4.
    Taking Adams out of the equation isn’t feasible. It’s the home stadium for Druid Hills and Lakeside HS, and if you check out the spring DCSD sports schedules you’ll see that it is used several times a week.
    This whole situation is difficult.
    But building a new high school in Region 2 (where the Briarcliff site is located) to serve primarily students in Region 1 is a very poor decision.

  14. Tim DeBardelaben

    If DCSD sells Kittredge and Briarcliff sites, where will people park for football games? Unless it is sold to Emory or another institution who do not need their parking lots during football games
    Also people need to realize that overcrowding exist in more than one district and redistricting also needs to happen. There I said the dirty word….redistricting….

  15. Patty Williams

    As a Dekalb County Schools employee, I am 100% in agreement with this letter. Community schools are the most beneficial. Families and students are much more involved.

  16. Don McChesney

    Tim, you and Stan hit the nail on the head about using Briarcliff. Druid Hills should be marketed to Emory U. Those people complaining about having to go 5 miles to drive to Briarcliff must be kidding. That is not an exorbitant distance. You can no longer build large high schools in local neighborhoods like DeKalb did in the 60’s thru 80’s. They need to be built in areas where there is greater transportation access. The Briarcliff site is ideally located for that. I prefer community schools too, but that day has gone in DeKalb. A high school location is a different animal than an elementary school.

  17. Don,
    If DCSD sells the Druid Hills HS building to Emory, where will the high school students in the Druid Hills cluster go to school? Yes, DCSD would make some money but surely not enough to buy another 20-30 acre site in that attendance zone and then build a high school.
    The DHHS attendance zone is surrounded mostly by schools that already are slated for additions that just barely keep pace with their own growth – Cross Keys and Lakeside to the north, Clarkston to the east. Towers to the southeast and McNair to the south have lots of seats but could be a traffic nightmare for much of the Druid Hills attendance zone.
    But a new Doraville high school could create space at Cross Keys and perhaps Clarkston to absorb Druid Hills if residents living around Druid Hills decide to flee Dekalb county, or if DCSD does as you recommends and sells the DHHS building to Emory.

  18. chamblee getting screwed

    I’m sorry Ashford Park and don’t take this the wrong way, but you all are idiots. You actually believed the county wouldn’t screw you? You actually believed that b.s. that came out of Gokce, Green, Drake’s mouths? Sorry, but you can’t fix stupid. And y’all bought it hook line and sinker. Look where it’s gotten you. You should have stayed in the Chamblee cluster. But you all had to agree to this hairbrained scheme and screw all of us. Nice job.

  19. chamblee getting screwed

    You lost community high schools when you agreed to this SCAM of turning region 1 schools into mega schools with all these huge additions.

  20. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, you are missing our point and making our point. There is a probability that DCSD will lose Druid Hills High School to APS due to annexation. Personally think DCSD has a responsibility to plan for this in advance. Like you said, where would the students who are not annexed go?
    Screwed, as far as DCSD Planning Dept goes, they have been a week link for years. We keep spending more and more money on the same schools. Lakeside, Druid Hills, Cross Keys, Dunwoody all had additions from last Esplost.. Chamblee and Tucker are the two newest schools built by DCSD. All of those schools are overcrowded. What type of planning is that?
    Since Dr. Green took over DCSD, they have been fast and loose with the laws and even their own rules. Start with the naming of John Lewis E.S.. Marshall Orson was Chairman of the Committee formed to name the school. He broke so many of DCSD own rules to name the school after his personal friend John Lewis. First he did not have the required number of people on the Committee. Second, not once did he get public feedback as required by DCSD rules. When question about this, Marshall Orson’s response was their was not enough time to follow the rules. First, if he had started when they first knew of plans to reuse old Kittredge there would have been time and what does time have to do with getting the correct number of people on the committee?
    Now look at the latest ESPLOST. To pass ESPLOST the law says DCSD is suppose to have detailed list of CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS. DCSD gave a vague list that many people question whether it met the letter of the law. Once again DCSD used time restraints as reason why.
    DCSD is using ESPLOST funds for DEMOLITION of old Briarcliff. If they do not rebuild on that site, how can they claim it is a CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT? No where on their vague list does demolition of buildings show up.

  21. Tim DeBardelaben

    Oh forgot one more thing to prove my point about DCSD operating fast and loose with the laws and own rules. If you ride by Briarcliff site today, you will see a RED sign posted on the building. This is a STOP WORK ORDER. DCSD started demolition of building without the proper PERMITS from the county.

  22. Don McChesney

    Anonymous. Tim is correct. When Druid Hills became overcrowded years ago it was relieved by Briarcliff. The answer is rehab Briarcliff and relieve Lakeside, Cross Keys, and Druid Hills. Don’t know if this statement is accurate or not, but a source told me there were less than 40 students attending Druid Hills that actually lived in its attendance area.
    I am not against a Doraville high school. We really need two schools. Moving Chamblee magnet to Briarcliff would give Chamblee the room it needs for its overcrowding. There is more than one way to fix this. New high schools plus land purchase are near $100 million now. Using Briarcliff is maximizing the taxpayers dollar and it keeps Lakeside students in the neighborhood and returns them to the school that it grew from in the 1960’s. Druid Hills could bring as much as $60 million. We have waited too long on this one which may have hurt the price. How about selling it to Emory and leasing it back from Emory for a nominal sum until other construction is complete?

  23. Tim DeBardelaben

    Funny sounds like Jim Cherry knew what he was doing when he laid out the High Schools. Brookhaven has a High School. It’s name is Cross Keys. Doraville had a High School named Sequoyah. Why not just reestablish what it use to be?

  24. Don,
    If you believe the DCSD Planning website, then what your source told you about Druid Hills, that there are less than 40 students attending DHHS that actually live in the attendance area, cannot be right.
    Georgia DOE says that DHHS had 1312 students in October 2017.
    The DCSD Planning website has Resident Attendee Maps that show the # of high school students by neighborhood. In the immediate area around the Briarcliff site, between North Druid Hills Road and LaVista Road, I counted 90 high school students.
    The DCSD Planning website also has a matrix showing high school students who don’t attend their home school. DHHS has 165 students who live in other attendance zones. This is reasonable given that there is an International Baccalaureate program there that draws from the entire county.
    This same matrix shows that DHHS sends 194 students to other DCSD high schools, mostly to DSA and Chamblee.
    Just trying to keep the facts out in front. I agree that a Doraville high school is needed, but Dr. Green decrees otherwise and every BOE member but Stan just goes along.

  25. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, while we are talking facts. Please note that according to the Planning Dept. that DHHS has a 1206 student capacity. So it is overcrowded with no plans in place to relieve the overcrowding. Same way Tucker High School is overcrowded with no plans to relieve the overcrowding at that school. Also while we are talking facts, since DCSD abandoned the Briarcliff Community, over 12 different PRIVATE SCHOOLS have opened to serve the Community that DCSD ABANDONED. None of these students count toward DCSD statistics. How many of these students would choose to attend a Public School if a Charter Magnet school was located at Briarcliff site? A New Briarcliff Cluster could help relieve 6 High Schools overcrowding problem. To build new Brookhaven H.S. will help how many schools?

  26. Stan and Don,
    Your contempt for Druid Hills High School, now and over the years is really juvenile. I realize this is the response section so you can give opinions, but in my opinion, Stan, stick to the FACT CHECKING. And while you are at it, FACT CHECK Don’s ridiculous claim that there are only 40 students attending DHHS from the attendance area. There are 10 students on my street alone(in the attendance zone) Thats just BS. I am not open to debate this-its just important to get all the facts straight if you are claiming to be that kind of site.

  27. Hello Karen. Thanks for participating in the conversation. Your accusations are bit anecdotal. “Juvenile” … that’s less than productive. You’re “not open to debate” … I can see this. Moving forward, hopefully we can have a civil discussion with those who are open to talking these things out.

  28. Aren’t they supposed to break ground on this new school in the fall? It’s mid April. Aren’t they cutting this a bit close?

  29. Tim,
    The DCSD Planning department states that the capacity of Druid Hills HS is 1405 students. Find it at http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/documents/planning/2017/full-report.pdf, page 85.
    This report is dated December 19, 2017. Note that it is a reduction from the 1425student capacity used by DCSD in fall 2016 for the Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study. That study is the basis for transforming CCHS, Dunwoody, and Lakeside into mega-high schools.
    So DHHS isn’t overcrowded now, having over 100 open seats. DCSD projects that in 2022, DHHS will have 1427 students, which will be 2 students over capacity.
    You also say that Tucker HS is overcrowded. Well it is, by 2 students. Its October 2017 FTE count was 1749 students, which is 2 students more than its capacity of 1747 students. The curious thing to me is that DCSD’s grand scheme counts on redistricting 125 Tucker HS students to Lakeside HS to keep Tucker from being overcrowded in 2022.
    Your point about the private schools may be well taken; I can’t name 12 new private high schools.
    I have no axe to grind here about Druid Hills HS. But I think we are all better served if we stick to the facts.

  30. We should definitely build a new high school somewhere. The original plan of building in Brookhaven makes the most sense to me, but I thought a Doralville location, with strengths and weaknesses, was a workable plan as well. While the third option, the Briarcliff site, would be better than nothing. I think it presents some real challenges and it’s highest use would not be as a high school. It has access to I-85 that a high school doesn’t need. The first two options have access to a major road within the community which is ideal. The first two options involve tearing down old apartment complexes which I think is generating the pushback. The District received some very undeserved criticism for purchasing land for the Doralville Elementary School and they are reluctant to move forward on another apartment purchase in Brookhaven or Doralville IMO.

  31. New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
    Anticipated Overall Start Date: Aug 2017
    Anticipated Construction Start Date: Sept 2019
    (How about them facts Karen)

  32. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, the capacity number I quoted came from DCSD Attendance and Enrollment report dated Oct 6, 2015. Do not know how DCSD can increase capacity when no room has been added to building. I have noticed this before. Planning Dept changes the numbers to justify whatever they want the public to believe. In June 2015 Mike Thurmond recommended repurposing Briarcliff site. Note that capacity numbers changed since then without any additions being done. Will you please explain to me how the capacity increases without anything being done other than alot of talk. Why did Thurmond say 3 years ago that Cross Keys had been a critical situation for to long and yet 3 years late…..the debate goes on…and yes DHHS is overcrowded.

  33. Cross Keys sits on 25+ acres of land, it should remain a HS. Sequoyah also sits on 25+ acres of land, it should be converted to a HS. You we can build two new middle schools on 10 acres (similar to Chamblee middle) each to feed them. It’s probably easier to get two 10 acre lots than one 25+ acre lot northwest of I85. Fewer people might end up getting displaced vs. building a big HS on Buford Hwy.

  34. Amen, thai!! I have never understood why DCSD didn’t choose to do this. It’s obvious that getting a 10 acre site will be easier and cost less than a 25 acre site. And remember, a 25 acre site for a 2500 seat school is mighty tight.
    Also, Tim, please understand that I am not defending DCSD Planning. I share your concern about how can the official capacity of a building change even when there is no change to the building. The “updates” posted in December 2017 included several changes due to “Adjustments (to account for under/over utilized space):”, which sounds like an arbitrary reason to me.
    These high school “adjustments” range from minor to major (-20 for Columbia, -20 for Druid Hills HS, +40 for Lakeside, +72 for McNair, +291 for Redan), but in Regions 1 and 2, +/-20 students isn’t minor.
    For example, after DCSD’s 750-seat addition to Lakeside, DCSD projects that Lakeside will have just 12 “excess” seats. So what looks “minor” may in fact be “major.”
    I believe that enrollment projection has a large margin of error. So why DCSD chose a plan with only 58 “excess” high school seats for all of Region 1 and only 23 “excess” high school seats for all of Region 2 is beyond me.

  35. chamblee getting screwed

    DCSD didn’t choose this option because they want to engage in social engineering. Because if Sequoyah would be a high school and CkHS remains a high school, they become the two “Hispanic” high schools. We certainly can’t have that!

  36. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, I don’t think you are defending DCSD. I think you are stating your personal opinion in a honest and respectful way.

  37. A number of people from the Cross Keys area are speaking to the board this evening at public Comment. They are asking that the new Cross Keys Brookhaven High School be built at The Briarcliff site.

  38. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, forgot to point out that I did not say 12 new High Schools. I said schools. Some of them do not go through grade 12. I know the two International Schools go through grade 12. Think several of the Jewish Schools go through 12. Remember that Briarcliff community lost several Elementary Schools through the years. Screwed, another word for Social Engineering is Integration. Sorry if you look at the Cross Keys Cluster on a map, there is no way you can say that it is a wise way to draw up a district following Buford Hwy from south end county line to the north end county line.

  39. And with a vote of 4-3 Briarcliff will be the new home for CKHS. Jim and Marshall spoke so eloquently about not putting the school there and how it will be a bad idea. Stan did a great job, but I think Marshall took a lot of his talking point.

  40. Tim DeBardelaben

    Who was third vote to build in Brookhaven? Erwin?
    Hope they listen and make school charter magnet with it’s own cluster

  41. I’m confused. The Rebuild of Cross Keys wasn’t an agenda item for the Work Session, but it was added as an Action Item to the Business Meeting agenda yesterday. This agenda item had no supporting documents to indicate what type of decision the BOE would make about the Rebuild of Cross Keys.
    So much for following the spirit of Open Meetings laws. Even if technically this is legal, shame on the BOE for voting on such a major decision with very little notice – I got the email at 1:11 am today – and with no supporting documents.
    Maybe this was an executive session decision? How does that work, when they aren’t buying property? What is the legal issue?
    Maybe all will be revealed when I watch the video. Or maybe I have something better to do with my time.

  42. Tim DeBardelaben

    Anonymous, I can only speculate that the discussion came up on whether to spend $30 million for the land in Brookhaven and majority said no. Once that issue was decided the vote was put on the agenda. Remember the motion that passed was build at Briarcliff or cost equivalent.
    As far as doing it tonight decision was made that it was not equivalent. Something needed to be done 5 years ago. Don’t say nobody had time.
    As far as DCSD doing something contrary to following rules, they have run fast and loose with laws and their own rules since Dr.Greene took over. Look at how Orson ramrodded the name John Lewis E.S.. How many rules were broken?

  43. chamblee getting screwed

    Oh Ashford Park…you all were really sold a bill of goods. How are those Doraville High proposals looking now? You know the ones you stuck your nose up at? Nope, you decided to go your own way putting your faith in the school board rather than your fellow Region 1 neighbors. Now you’re going to pay the price for your naïveté. Enjoy that daily trip over I-85.

  44. sent via Facebook
    Serious question — How do you all even remotely think that the area near Adams Stadium is a good location? There are so many other areas closer to the students in the Cross Keys Cluster. Are you even thinking about the impact this will have on graduation rate (longer distances for schools quite often is linked to lower graduation rate). Not to mention when it gets redistricted half of the Cross Key students will be redistricted right out of there so essentially not serving that community. There is over crowding in Lakeside and Druid Hills clusters and more and more children and young families are moving in. Nothing seems scientific about the BOE’s approach. Just filled with opinions. Where are the studies? Where is the traffic impact study? Quality of life study for time spent on buses and not being able to participate in after school activities, coming home later to try and complete homework, impacting grades, etc.? This is a disservice to the students. Why the big push for that location?
    What is even most ironic is that the three BOE districts that will be most effected by this voted no. There is severe overcrowding below 85 and growing. Now they want to bring a high school far away from the other elementary schools, etc. in that cluster into the overcrowded area (not only with traffic but also with young students who will need bigger elementary, middle and high schools themselves). What is the rationale behind that? Can we please build a school for the Druid Hills, Lakeside, etc. clusters in Brookhaven/Doraville area since we have run out of land here? Makes perfect sense to me. Let’s waste gas, add more buses, staff personnel for longer hours, etc. because that is a great idea too!

  45. From what I can tell, the decision strictly came down to money.

  46. sent via Facebook
    How can it be less expensive busing students, the cost of gas, etc. to a location where it is not even inside any of the elementary schools boundaries. If you look at the map, the current cross keys HS is at the edge of the very bottom of the district currently. This new location for the HS is outside of the attendance map. The district goes all the way outside of 285. So is the BOE saying that there is no feasible location inside the borders of the current cross keys boundaries that would be more cost effective? Think about the environmental imprint/impact. I was bused from a great distance for elementary and middle and my grades suffered because of it. I went to a local high school that was just a mile away and turned it all around. What does Dekalb County think? Shallowford/Clairmont and Notth Druid Hills Road on 85 exits are already backed up and packed. All of the Cross Keys HS students will have to cross over or go onto 85. Was a traffic impact study conducted?

  47. sent via Facebook
    Stan, it seems that last night’s vote came about at the last minute and as a surprise to virtually everyone. Why is that the case? Why was this vote suddenly added to last night’s meeting agenda with hardly any advance notice?

  48. Hello Stacey. Last month the board made some decisions in executive session that I wanted the public to know about. I asked that the Briarcliff decision be made publicly. Marshall Orson asked that we revisit the decision entirely. Late last week the chair agreed to put it on the agenda.

  49. sent via Facebook
    Stan, if money is a concern, then has the board been keeping an eye on the estimated costs for the additions at CCHS, DHS, and LHS? Those are all a part of this bigger plan, so if the board “cheaped out” by going with Briarcliff, they need to keep their eye on the plans for the other part of the Region I scheme – those shoehorned additions.
    CCHS is first on the block, and two of the options have them building a new parking deck with an athletic field on top of it. That sounds super inexpensive. Another option has them purchasing adjacent land. Neither of those sound like the bare bones $ that was sold to everyone to fit into that master plan.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that if all of the (stupid) additions end up being way more expensive than was originally set forth, then the ENTIRE plan should be revisited b/c really expensive additions weren’t a part of the plan. An entirely new Doraville HS would have been less expensive and less disruptive than ballooning addition costs for three high schools. And the community that this entire effort was supposedly going to benefit, CKHS, is also getting screwed as plans solidify.
    Then again, this is DeKalb, and I suspect the fix was in from the beginning. I just want everyone to know that, as the details come out, this whole thing gets further and further from what was marketed in the beginning. #nothingnew

  50. Will be interesting to see if the APES community commits to the new HS, even though they were the ones who proposed this plan. If you go to google maps and look at the time it takes to go from APES to the Briarcliff site at 7:15 am, it is essentially the same as going for Cary Reynolds to Cross Keys HS at 7:15 am.
    I think they’ll push hard to stay in the Chamblee cluster and force the magnet program to the briarcliff site.

  51. chamblee getting screwed

    I have a sewage plant in New Jersey for sale. You interested, Ashford Park?

  52. So Stan, are you saying that except for your request that the Cross Keys Rebuild decision would be made in public, that it would just be presented as a “done deal,” just like the locations for the new elementary school in Doraville and the new Smoke Rise elementary school in the Tucker industrial park?
    That’s not transparency. But I appreciate your effort to let the public know how things are done.
    What about the Construction Advisory Committee for this new school? The Cross Keys website still posts the “call for members” from August 2017. There is absolutely no information on the website about who the CAC members are or when they meet.
    DCSD promised stakeholder participation, yet after nearly 8 months there is no CAC. Can’t they even keep the sham on schedule?

  53. Anonymous, As you know, real estate acquisitions are discussed in executive session. We can’t publicly discuss properties and prices. I’ve spent the last month trying to get the administration, board chair and legal to bring the public up to where we are. It was an agenda item in the business meeting and we officially voted on it. Was it a “done deal” before the meeting? I’m guessing most of the board had their mind made up before the meeting … like most of the agenda items.
    Transparency – Everybody knows the board and district have been grappling for a while with buying property or building at the Briarcliff site. The decision whether or not to buy property is not a transparent process. Deciding whether or not to build at Briarcliff is de facto not transparent.

  54. I’m grateful to the BOE members who spoke out against this plan to move CKHS to the old BHS site. The citizens of DeKalb deserve to hear an explanation from DCSD staff and the 4 BOE members who approved this absurd plan. Looking out for one’s own constituents doesn’t mean it’s okay to harm thousands of innocent children. Leadership requires more than merely allocating funds. Where is the discernment of what is necessary to allow children the best opportunities to succeed? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that closer proximity to schools leads to better attendance and parental involvement, and consequently better attendance and parental involvement leads to higher student achievement. If this is all part of some master plan to improve student achievement and solve overcrowding, I’d like the school system to pull back the curtain and be a little more transparent.

  55. I think you need to revise that attendance map to include the Druid Hills cluster, as it is an integral part of this discussion. Is that area not considered part of “North DeKalb” now? Is it Atlanta instead? And I think that Tucker HS uses Adams stadium as its “home field” in addition to Druid Hills and Lakeside. Plus their middle schools…
    Transparency is a joke. Buying land is not like an employee disciplinary action. It need plenty of sunshine, so that we taxpayers all know who stands to profit from the sale of the land. And who profits from the contracts to prep it for the demolition, and to do the demolition? Who has been paid to draw up new plans for the site? Where are our millions going?
    Just asking… It’s gotten more secretive every year. 🙁