The Brookhaven City Council unanimously approved a resolution April 24 asking the DeKalb County Board of Education to reconsider its decision to locate the new Cross Keys High School at the former Briarcliff High School site and instead build it on Buford Highway in Brookhaven.
The resolution directs City Manager Christian Sigman to begin a dialogue with Supt. Stephen Green “to collaborate on the construction of a new Brookhaven High School along Buford Highway” and also requests the Brookhaven Development Authority to “assess any and all available tools to assist in efforts to retain a public high school within the city of Brookhaven.”
The DeKalb Board of Education voted April 16 to build the new Cross Keys High School at the former Briarcliff High School site at 2415 North Druid Hills Road despite opposition from the three board members closest to the area.
The school district has allocated nearly $85 million in ESPLOST funding for the new 2,500-seat school. It is needed to alleviate overcrowding at the current Cross Keys High, which is located at 1626 North Druid Hills Road.
Other potential sites included several apartment complexes along Buford Highway, which would have been too expensive to purchase and would displace hundreds of students, the school district said.
Councilmember Joe Gebbia, whose district includes Buford Highway, initiated the resolution and said he believes the best place to build the new high school is adjacent to the current Cross Keys High School. The current Cross Keys High is set to become a 1,500-seat middle school in a $10 million project.
By having the middle school, a new high school and Woodward Elementary adjacent to each other creates a school campus that Gebbia said would best serve the community and students.
Mayor John Ernst said he was surprised by the school board’s decision and is ready to work with school administrators to find a way to keep the high school in Brookhaven.
“I know there is a way to get this done, there are many different ways to get this done, we just need a willing partner with the school system to do it,” he said. “I believe we can help them in any way to mitigate both the economics and social justice aspects of this.”
Click to read the full resolution: