Tag Archives: SPLOST

E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold

The current DeKalb Schools budget for E-SPLOST V projects is $561 million. The most recent estimated cost for those projects is $684.4 million. We are roughly 22% over budget (not including any project adjustments made for recent enrollment forecasts).

Enrollment Adjusted Estimated Costs
Due to the most recent enrollment forecasts, most of the building addition projects have either been reduced or cancelled. However, Chamblee Charter HS addition will stay the same and Dunwoody HS is getting 1,000 seats. Accounting for the reductions and cancellations, the enrollment adjusted estimated cost is $638 million ($77 million over current budget).

The new facilities and additions by themselves are projected to be $21 million over budget.

ESLPOST V Project Area Current Budget New Estimated Costs Enrollment Adjusted Estimated Costs
Safety and Security Improvements $12,872,000 $40,629,074 $40,629,074
New Facilities and Additions $304,890,566 $372,197,439 $325,969,237
Facility Condition Improvements $96,948,000 $107,091,710 $107,091,710
Technology Improvements $65,000,000 $68,300,000 $68,300,000
Buses, Vehicles, and Equipment $40,075,000 $40,075,000 $40,075,000
Management Support and Contigency $41,214,434 $56,742,726 $56,742,726
Grand Total $561,000,000 $685,035,949

Increased Construction Costs
Increasing construction costs can be attributed to numerous things including a robust construction market, rising cost of labor due to low unemployment, material costs, tariffs on imported construction materials and more stringent building requirements.

Projects ON HOLD Due to Insufficient Funds

1. Cross Keys MS Converstion and Addition ($10 M)
2. Cedar Gove HS Auditorium ($6 M)
3. Clarkston HS Addition ($18 M)
4. New Cross Keys HS ($84.8 M)
5. Chamblee Charter HS Addition ($21.5 M)
6. Dunwoody HS Addition ($17.7 M)
7. Lakeside HS Addition ($26 M)
1. Arts School ($11 M)

Options to Address Budget Issues

Revenues over the last 6 years have doubled while the number of students has remained the same. However, the school district is looking into borrowing money.

Option 1: $63 Million COPS – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition and the Arts School.

Option 2: $80 Million GO Bond – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition, the Arts School and add $17 million to capital renewal.

Option 3: $100 Million GO Bond – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition, the Arts School, add $5 million to capital renewal, New Cross Keys MS Conversion, Cedar Grove HS Auditorium, Clarkston HS addition.

Option 4: Nothing – Eliminate the projects on hold, decrease most project areas and increase program contingency by $11 million.

Moving Forward

The Board of Education will have illegal rolling meetings behind closed doors over the next week to prioritize projects and discuss the funding options.

Plan For More Trailers in Dunwoody and Chamblee

In DeKalb Schools there are almost 4,000 open high school seats across the county. We could redistrict tomorrow and all of our problems with over burdened common spaces and over crowded high schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee would be instantly gone.
However, the school district will be adding 600 – 750 seats at Lakeside High School, Dunwoody High School, and Chamblee Charter High School to balance out the racial diversity and socio-economics of the student populations attending those schools as well as evenly distribute the students from Doraville and Buford Hwy across more affluent schools. I believe there are many reasons why the school district has chosen this path. The main one is they do not want to redistrict because the guidelines for redistricting wouldn’t accomplish the demographic blend they are seeking in North DeKalb.
In the mean time, here is the plan for trailers at the High Schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee.
Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS)
Chamblee Charter HS awaits the addition of 600 more seats expected to be completed on or shortly after the Fall of 2020. Fall 2016 enrollment was 1,624 students. CCHS can expect a Fall 2017 enrollment of about 1,721 students and 4 new classroom trailers. If construction of the seat additions is finished on time, CCHS should max out at 10 trailers by 2020.

Chamblee Charter High School
Year (Fall) Estimated Enrollment Portable Classrooms
2016 1,624 0
2017 1,721 4
2018 1,858 6
2019 2,006 10
2020 2,099 0 (New Additions Completed)

Dunwoody High School (DHS)
In the Fall of 2016, DHS had approx 1,822 students and 4 trailers. 2 modulars were recently added. DHS is expected to have at least 12 portable classrooms before the seat additions are completed. It is undetermined where those trailers will go and if they will ever be inspected by the city.
On Monday the Dunwoody Council will vote on an MOU with the School District for building plan review and inspection of capital and facilities improvements projects within the city boundaries. While the school district and the city bang out the details of the MOU, will our children are going to school in un-inspected trailers?

Dunwoody High School
Year (Fall) Estimated Enrollment Portable Classrooms
2016 1,822 4
2017 1,935 8
2018 1,941 8
2019 1,977 10
2020 1,976 10
2021 2,028 12
2022 2,093 0 (New Additions Completed)

Note: Dunwoody High School, Chamblee Charter High School and Lakeside High School are expected to be at 100% capacity after all SPLOST V projects are completed.

FAQ – Facility Planning & Feasibility Study
Question – Wouldn’t it be best to build the schools a little bit larger to allow for higher than expected attendance levels in the future? Put another way, why build to a utilization of 100% rather than adding additional capacity?
School District Answer – District staff are aware of the uncertainty inherent in any future forecasting. 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. These forecasts will be updated annually as we track demographic shifts across the District. 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. The speculation that some Dunwoody residents would be redistricted out of DHS seems to be the only reason for any continued support of the building additions.

Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?
January 17, 2017 – Please help me understand why adding 600 seats to Chamblee Charter High School is good for anybody in that community? I suspect that any support is driven by redistricting.

750 More Seats at Lakeside HS? Why?
January 30, 2017 – Lakeside High School is currently cramming 2,184 students into a building with a capacity of 1,756 students. Only one other school in North DeKalb scored a below average 2016 School Climate Star Rating. How will adding 750 seats to Lakeside High School improve their School Climate Star Rating and academic achievement?