Saturday, August 8, 2009
Cross Keys Renovation to Begin
As published in yesterday's Brookhaven Reporter, Evergreen Construction has begun to prepare for $20 million in renovations to Cross Keys High School. School system reps confirmed the plan to renovate without admitting the horrible conditions there. "By no means would I classify Cross Keys as dilapidated," said Pat Pope, the school system's chief operations officer. "It's a sound structure and a good environment for a renovation."
Although this is very good news, I am still perplexed as to why there are no plans for an auditorium/career tech addition, as was promised for every high school in DCSS when we voted for SPLOST 3 funding. SPLOST 3 collections are ahead of projections, and are providing money in the bank – earning millions in interest. The money is there - and it must be spent as promised. So, why no auditorium for Cross Keys?
The excuse has been that the population is low, however, when you check out the way the district has been gerrymandered, it's obvious that the population is what it is due to politics. To create a "low population problem" and then declare it the reason for lower spending is disrespectful and unfair. Don McChesney is the board rep for this school and he needs to get in there and fight for Cross Keys' fair share - and their auditorium, just as Jay Cunningham did recently for SouthWest DeKalb and then later for Cedar Grove.
I am also perplexed as to why Pat Pope has suddenly started blaming the community itself for the architect quitting the project.
"Pope indicated that frustration with the design team of teachers, administrators, students and parents played a part in the first architect quitting the project.
"The community would never come to a consensus on design," she said."
I"m sorry, I just don't believe that. Big, rough, hard-hitting corporate architects would never just walk away from a project due to community issues. The Design Team at Cross Keys' only contribution to the plans to renovate was a 2 page wish list. All they ever asked was if the architect had received that list. Something else came into play. We will be watching more closely this time.