Author Topic: New Gresham Park Elementary school  (Read 1026 times)

Offline Maru32

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New Gresham Park Elementary school
« on: April 27, 2015, 03:29 pm »
They have started clearing the land for the new Gresham Park Elementary School.

http://thechampionnewspaper.com/news/local/new-gresham-park-elementary-to-be-built-at-clifton-elementary-site/

Quote
Gresham Park stakeholders got their wish March 3 when the DeKalb County Board of Education decided to change the location of a new school building.

Instead of constructing a new Gresham Park Elementary School building at the site of the building, which has been closed since June 2011, the school board voted to build the new school at the site of the current Clifton Elementary School.

“We actually build the schools for the communities that will be served,” said DeKalb School Superintendent Mike Thurmond. “The community supports the project. That wasn’t there before.”

School Board member Michael Erwin said he became aware of community opposition when residents asked, “Why can’t the decision be reversed?”

That’s when the school district “decided to start over from scratch” in planning the new school building, Erwin said.

After public meetings in October 2013 and December 2013, the school board on Jan. 6 authorized the school district to explore the use of the Clifton Elementary School site for the future Gresham Park Elementary School. School district personnel sought and received approval from the Georgia Department of Education; conducted required public notification meetings; and prepared a cost estimate review for additional design, engineering and construction costs.

The site change will cost the school district approximately $1.8 million. The extra costs are due to the staged demolition of the Clifton Elementary building; adaptation and engineering of the prototype school to the Clifton site; civil engineering; and projected escalation of construction costs due to a later start date.

The new cost of the school, which will house 900 students, will be an estimated $20.2 million.

“The community is behind it 100 percent,” Erwin said about the new building location. “We want to work with the community. The community wants to work with us. The Gresham Park site wasn’t right for a 21st century school.”

Darryl Jennings, president of the Gresham Park Community Association, said school district leaders “heard the stakeholder concerns and they took that to heart. They listened.”

Thurmond’s administration heard the concerns unlike the previous administration, Jennings said. “I believe those that were making decisions at that time didn’t fully understand the location.”

The original decision to rebuild Gresham Park Elementary at the site of the current building was made based on number of students. “They did not know the community,” Jennings said.

“We, the community, want what’s best for the students in the entire area,” Jennings said. “The old Gresham Park Elementary location was not the best location. It’s deep into the neighborhood.”

Because most students have to ride buses, it would create a “horrific traffic problem” to have a larger school in the neighborhood, he said.

“The location at Clifton is the best site because of the flexibility,” Jennings said. “It isn’t locked in. Three different roads lead into Clifton which is much better for the traffic in the Gresham area.”

Stephen M. Wilkins, the school district’s chief operations officer, said, “We are absolutely convinced that this is the best site for the school.”

Wilkins said “access is superior” and the Clifton location has a park and community center.

“We will be able to leverage those buildings,” he said.

While the building will be state-of-the-art, stakeholders “have to understand that there is, as Supt. Thurmond said, a big difference between the school and the building–the school being who’s in the building and what resources you have in the building and the building being just the brick and mortar,” Jennings said.

Jennings said Gresham stakeholders “have to make sure that we…are in on the building and the school–what we want it to look like [and] what resources will be offered at the location.”

 
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Offline Cap'n Ken

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Re: New Gresham Park Elementary school
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 03:33 pm »
I just read that - I'm still not quite sure what it means.
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Offline Maru32

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Re: New Gresham Park Elementary school
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 03:55 pm »
I just read that - I'm still not quite sure what it means.

From what I heard they are planning on closing 3 DeKalb elementary schools and combining them into one school to house 900 students.  This may be the start of it.  Although, I am not 100% sure on this.
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Offline ohmylorelei

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Re: New Gresham Park Elementary school
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 08:08 pm »
That's exactly what they did when they created McNair Discovery Learning Academy on Second.
xoLaurel