The SPLOST V building additions at Lakeside HS (LHS), Chamblee Charter HS (CCHS) and Dunwoody HS (DHS) will be “classroom additions and necessary core space additions and/or parking spaces”. But what does that really mean?
BUILDING ADDITIONS – PROJECT LIST
I met with Joshua Williams, the Chief Operating Officer, and the other board members on Monday. The building additions project includes the following:
* Classroom additions
* Kitchen extension
* Cafeteria extension
* New/extended media center addition
* New parking
Each building addition project has a specific budget. Whatever money is left over from the building additions, will go into the district wide E-SPLOST Contingency Fund. There will absolutely not be any renovations done to other areas of the school with building additions budget unless they are impacted by the original projects.
BUILDING ADDITIONS & FIELD RENOVATIONS – SCHEDULE
In March 2017, the board and administration passed a schedule for all E-SPLOST V projects. That schedule has not changed. At DHS, engineers are looking into the possibility of separating out the field renovations project and doing that early.
Anticipated Overall Start Date
Anticipated Construction Start Date
Anticipated Construction Finish Date
Anticipated Overall Finish Date
New Cross Keys HS
New 119-classroom high school
38-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation
26-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation
NEW CROSS KEYS / BROOKHAVEN HIGH SCHOOL
$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.
E-SPLOST V also includes artificial turf installation at 19 high schools. At LHS and DHS, the turf installation will happen at the same time as the building additions.
“Game On” is a campaign by the Dunwoody High School Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), School Council, and Community Association, to originally raise $2 million for capital improvements to the DHS athletic facilities including
Artificial turf for multi-purpose field
Running track replacement
Outdoor lighting for multi-purpose field
Field house with concessions and restrooms
Coordination with DCSD
E-SPLOST V projects for Dunwoody High School include a 600 seat classroom addition, artificial turf installation and covering the retention pond/swamp. In March, the Board received and approved the administration’s plan for the timing of all E-SPLOST V projects. I voted against accepting this timeline but it was passed on a 5-2 vote. The projects at DHS aren’t scheduled to begin planning and procurement until February of 2019. Construction isn’t scheduled to begin until October 2020. The expected completion date is between June and September 2022 (at the earliest).
The Game On Capital Campaign would like to decouple the athletic facility improvements from the E-SPLOST projects. The Capital Campaign would like to accelerate the schedule of the athletic field improvement component of E-SPLOST V. The district said they will investigate the feasibility of accommodating this accelerated schedule as they proceed with overall planning and design work. Investigation of Accelerated Schedule
The school district must consider how at least 2 key variables will affect all of the E-SPLOST projects at DHS, not just the athletic field improvements. Those variables are the location of a sufficient water retention pond and the location of the 600 seat addition.
DCSD has indicated their intention is to put out RFPs, make awards, and then begin each E-SPLOST V project according to the approved scheduling plan. Once the awards have been made, the school district will understand how the key variables for DHS addition and improvements interplay. At that point they will know if the current retention pond location will be sufficient for the site or if another retention area must be created and placed under the athletic fields.
If the current retention infrastructure is sufficient and if the building addition doesn’t require the reconfiguration of the athletic fields, then it is more likely DCSD can decouple the athletic field improvements from the overall project. If that happens then the Game On Capital Campaign can move sooner to accomplish its goals.
If another retention pond must be constructed or if the building addition will impede on the current athletic field areas, the Game On Capital Campaign may face a delay in starting their projects.
The RFPs have not yet been released by the school district. This is still several months out. Once they go out, it will take some time to gather the responses and determine the award. From that point, it will likely take another year to perform preliminary designs and conduct a feasibility study to determine the impact of the addition and field work. Based on the data and feedback from the school district, and if the athletic field improvements are able to be decoupled from the whole project, the best case scenario is that the capital field improvements breaks ground the Summer of 2019. What is a matching fund?
The Dunwoody School Council and school administration have been told by DCSD that the district would match any funds the community raised. One of the items included in E-SPLOST V’s project list is an upgrade to artificial turf fields for all of the high schools. The budget for field improvements is the same for all high schools. Regardless of the amount of money Dunwoody raised, the school district has budgeted the same for Dunwoody.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.” — Frederick Douglass
“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”