Category Archives: Doraville

Where Is The New Cross Keys HS Going

Where is the new Cross Keys HS going and how much is it going to cost?

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?
Dan Drake is the Executive Director Of Operations for DeKalb Schools. He answers some questions about the current state of the new Cross Keys HS project.

Dan Drake

Dan Drake
Executive Director Of Operations for DeKalb Schools

What is the E-SPLOST budget for a new Cross Keys High School?
Drake: Per the voter-approved E-SPLOST V program, the design and construction budget for the new Cross Keys High School is $84.8 million.
What are the latest cost estimates for building a new Cross Keys High School at the Briarcliff site?
Drake: The estimated cost of $84.8 million to design and construct the new Cross Keys High School at the former Briarcliff site has not changed.
What are the latest cost estimates (or estimated range) for building the new Cross Keys High School at an alternative site.
Drake: The design and construction budget of $84.8 million for the new Cross Keys High School has not changed. Per the March 20, 2017, Board Committee of the Whole (COW) presentation and subsequent project listing approval, this budget assumes the new Cross Keys HS facility will be constructed at the former Briarcliff site or an alternative cost-neutral site in the City of Brookhaven. There is no budget allocated for acquiring land at an alternative site as this purchase would be offset by the sale of the Briarcliff site and other surplus properties should the Board approve. The cost estimates to acquire an alternative site and details of such candidate sites are still under review and will be discussed with the full Board in executive session.
If the cost estimate for an alternative site is more, how would that be financed?
Drake: The Board is exploring the use of Certificates of Participation (COPs) to finance the purchase of an alternative site in the Brookhaven area should the proceeds associated with the sale of the old Briarcliff site, and other surplus properties cannot be fully available for the purchase of the alternative site. As a reminder, COPs is a financing mechanism that can be used by government entities for the construction of new facilities, which require the Board approval, but not voter-approval. The District used COPs in the past to (1) finance the construction of the new Chamblee HS prior to E-SPLOST IV and repaid with E-SPLOST IV funds and (2) finance the construction of three new elementary schools (i.e. Princeton ES, Flat Rock ES, and Dunwoody ES) prior to E-SPLOST III and repaid with E-SPLOST III funds. The COPs financing for the new Cross Keys HS land purchase, if needed, could be repaid from the proceeds of the E-SPLOST VI program (2022-2027).
Are there any other details about this E-SPLOST project item that you would like to share that is not confidential?
Drake: The District is exploring land purchase options with a range of 25-45 acres in the South Brookhaven area, in addition to the possible use of the existing Briarcliff site for the construction of the new Cross Keys HS.

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.