DeKalb County, GA, July 11, 2016 – by Trey Benton – The Story has been Updated – During today’s (July 11) DeKalb County School Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Board Members will consider a proposal submitted by a naming committee Chaired by District 2 Board Member Marshall Orson, to name a new DeKalb Elementary School planned for Skyland Center after Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Congressman, John Lewis.
According to District 1 School Board Member Stan Jester, in March, the DeKalb BOE approved the Cross Keys Redistricting Plan which includes opening the former International Student Center (ISC) building on North Druid Hills (East of Briarcliff – 2383 N Druid Hills Rd, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-3126) to help alleviate overcrowding in the Cross Keys Cluster.
In accordance with district Regulation FDC-R, Jester reports that back in May, a renaming committee met twice to decide what name to recommend to the board for the ISC building for the next few years it is open to temporarily house roughly 400 Montclair elementary students.
Jester says Orson and the naming committee agreed to ask the BOE to name the ISC building John Lewis Elementary School in honor of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District’s Congressman. The naming committee also agreed the name “John Lewis” Elementary School would transfer to the new Skyland building in Brookhaven once construction has been completed. “The naming committee is also requesting the board waive the regulation that says, ‘a school may not be named for a living individual or an individual who has been deceased less than five years’, Jester adds.
During their Monday, May 9th meeting, the DeKalb BOE announced agreements with the City of Brookhaven and the Georgia State Properties Commission to acquire 11.2 acres at Skyland Park for a new elementary school. Included in the $7.5 million total purchase price, DeKalb Schools will get Skyland Center, formerly Skyland Elementary School, that houses a State of Georgia Vital Records facility. This deal also includes the property that houses Brookhaven’s Skyland Park.
DeKalb County Schools says the new elementary school, which should be completed in Fall of 2019, will provide relief for several existing elementary schools including Dresden, Montclair, and Woodward. Once the final agreements are reached, a new 900-seat, $22 million elementary school is scheduled to be built on the site.
The intergovernmental agreement with the City of Brookhaven and the State of Georgia shows the School District will acquire the former Skyland Elementary School site from the State of Georgia for $2.8 million for 5.3 acres; transfer 4.17 acres of the acquired State property to the City of Brookhaven and purchase Skyland Park’s 10.6 acres for $4.7 million from the City. (More on this here with Video)
According to Brookhaven, the $4.7 million the City will receive for Skyland Park, roughly $2.3 million will be spent on demolishing Skyland Center and building a brand new park on the property, in accordance with the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The remainder will be spent on greenspace and park acquisition in other areas of the City.
The BOE will contemplate the naming proposal at 2:00 pm during their July 11th Work Session and will vote on it at the 7:00 pm Business Meeting. The agenda includes:
- 2:00 pm Work Session, Committee of the Whole and Executive Session for a student appeal, legal and personnel matters
- 5:45 pm Community Input Session
- 7:00 pm Business Meeting
Meetings are held at the Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Those seeking to provide input can email Margaret Francois to get on the public comment speaker list.
UPDATE: The BOE approved the naming of the school in Honor of Congressman John Lewis.