Author: Melissa Weinman

MARTA ridership up in Perimeter

MARTA ridership is rising in the Perimeter area, the transit system’s general manager said. From July 2013 to February 2014, average weekday rail entries increased over the same months the previous year, MARTA General Manager Keith Parker told the Sandy Springs/Perimeter and Dunwoody chambers of commerce during a luncheon on April 8. The bump in ridership was 1.2 percent at Medical Center station, 2.3 percent at North Springs, 3.9 percent at Sandy Springs and 7.3 percent at Dunwoody, Parker said. He said State Farm, which recently announced plans to locate thousands of workers at a massive new development next to the Dunwoody MARTA station, is “using our Dunwoody station as a catalyst.” “They’re working with us to make that station as free-flowing and friendly to their campus as possible,” Parker said. Parker also said a budget surplus at MARTA this year will allow more frequent train service. “Because we’ve been able to find some fiscal relief, we’re investing some of those dollars back to customers,” he said. “We’re practically doubling train frequency during the day.” The change will take place in May. Trains that now arrive every 15 minutes will arrive every 10 to 12 minutes. Trains arriving every 10 minutes will arrive every 5 to 7 minutes, Parker said. The State Farm project isn’t the only development planned near a MARTA station, transit officials said. Other projects are...

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Details emerge about new charter school

Buckhead’s newest school is taking shape. The Atlanta Classical Academy, a charter school slated to open in August, announced it will locate at the Northside Drive campus of the Heiskell School once the private Christian school closes its doors this summer. “It’s an incredibly well-located facility that is currently a school, has been a school, so we’re certain it will function as a school. We’re thrilled to be there,” said Matthew Kirby, chairman of the school’s board of directors. Kirby said officials will lease the facility from the Heiskell family. He declined to disclose the cost of the lease. Atlanta Classical Academy will be a charter school, meaning it will be governed independently by a board of directors. Charter schools typically receive this autonomy from the school system in exchange for increased accountability. Kirby explained that as a charter school, Atlanta Classical Academy’s funding structure will be different from a traditional public school. “Charter schools are required to fund their facilities’ expenses themselves,” Kirby said. “Either they raise the dollars from private sources or it comes from their operating budget. In our case, we’re working hard to minimize capital improvements to get the school opened.” Kirby said as an existing school, very little work will need to be done to the Heiskell School building to get it ready for the opening of the academy in August. “We’ll be funding...

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Brookhaven to hold parks forums April 14

The city of Brookhaven will hold two public forums on the proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan April 14. Scheduled for 6:30 p.m., the simultaneous forums will be held at Lupton Hall of Oglethorpe University and Briarwood Park Recreation Center. The forums will be an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the future development of the city’s parks. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan is one of several long-range planning efforts being conducted by the city of Brookhaven this year. The goal of the parks and recreation plan is to evaluate the condition of city parks and establish goals for future improvements. The city has hired a consultant that will work with staff and the public over approximately 18 weeks to create the plan, which will cost about $90,000, according to the...

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