The new Austin Elementary School opened at 5321 Roberts Drive in Dunwoody on Jan. 6.

The new Austin Elementary School at 5321 Roberts Drive in Dunwoody. (Special)

The 950-seat school is intended to help relieve the overcrowding at the surrounding elementary schools of Chesnut, Dunwoody, Hightower and Vanderlyn. The school has triggered a controversial redistricting process of changing school attendance zones, which will be in effect in August 2020.

A new intersection for the school opened on Jan. 1. The $1.35 million project added a new traffic light at the school’s main entrance; turn lanes into and out of the main entrance to the school; a new sidewalk on the west side of Roberts Drive; and a widening of the sidewalk to 8 feet on the east side of Roberts Drive.

The new Austin Elementary was built on approximately 10 acres of Dunwoody Park, where the Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields were located. The city of Dunwoody agreed in November 2017 to sell the park land to the DeKalb County School District for $3.6 million.

The district will hand over the former Austin site, a 9.8-acre property at 5435 Roberts Drive, to the city.

The district once considered using the former Austin building as another school, but decided it is infeasible. In the long term, additional seats will be needed for overcrowding issues, the district says, but there are no plans or timelines for more new schools.

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