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Ellen Eldridge Posted by on December 10, 2015.

Austin Elementary School to be rebuilt on Roberts Drive

Parents and children in the neighborhood walk to Austin Elementary the first day of school Monday morning August 8, 2011. Principal Elizabeth Ogletree directs parents and students into school for last minute registrations, and direction to home room classes.

Parents and children in the neighborhood walk to Austin Elementary the first day of school Monday morning August 8, 2011. Principal Elizabeth Ogletree directs parents and students into school for last minute registrations, and direction to home room classes.

 

 

Austin Elementary School will be rebuilt as a 900-seat school on Roberts Drive in Dunwoody, a school official says.

While negotiations are still underway concerning a land swap, Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green and other school officials told five board members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association Dec. 9 that the school would be rebuilt and expanded.

The location is not yet known, but the school would either be built on the baseball fields at Dunwoody Park or on the school’s existing site.

“Our intent is to keep the school on Roberts Drive,” said Dan Drake, director of planning and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax programming at DeKalb County School District, who attended the meeting.
DHA Board member Stacey Harris said the school board should know the location in six to eight weeks.

She said the DHA wanted to meet with Green simply because he is the new superintendent, but members of the community have been waiting for an update on Austin Elementary.

Harris said Green impressed her with his ability to express himself simply.

“I was impressed with how he explained his plan,” she said. “There was no psycho-ed babble. And I understood it. I walked out of that meeting more optimistic than I’ve ever been.”

Some parents had said keeping the school smaller than 900 students would be best, but Harris said she understands the financial benefit to expand. She said when a school expands to 900, more state funding is available.

“One item [Green] talked about his years in Kansas City was [how] he decreased their contractors/vendors from 6,000 to 600,” Harris said. “When he talks about cutting costs and putting money back into the classroom, I actually believe him.”

Harris said she brought her eighth-grade son, Liam, to the meeting, too.

A prototype was developed by a 14-member committee for a 900-seat school to be developed at seven sites, Drake said. The first two have been completed: Peachcrest Elementary School and Fernbank Elementary School. It’s a 58-classroom building that stands up to three stories in height in places.

Harris said her son asked about what would become of the STEM program and he was happy to hear about a new Science Technology Engineering and Math lab, which is part of the prototype.

“This is Liam’s fifth superintendent and I feel like Dr. Green is going to make a difference,” Harris said.

 

One Response to Austin Elementary School to be rebuilt on Roberts Drive

  1. Arthur Goodelman

    December 11, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Help me to better understand why is everything so
    Hush Hush as to the location and Land swap. Should we not be more transparent ?
    The land swap deal. again more openness ? As to
    traffic ? Where will this new school be located in regard to traffic ?
    Another tax ? What are we paying taxes now on for
    the millage (Dekalb School) Most tax increases never go away after the proposed date of term.
    Why do we not build or expand on the present site ?
    How long for the proposed construction ?
    Once again is the North end of the County paying for the other end of the County ? Should we not be concentrating of How to improve the Quality of Education in Dekalb Co ? It is with out a doubt Broken…… The difference between Fulton and Dekalb Schools is to say the least (quality ) Different.
    Being a native of Ga. and a Graduate of Dekalb Co. School System. I am appalled at the Lack of Quality of Dekalb Schools. Dekalb once was in the top % of the Nation not just the State.
    Can we make that claim now ?