The school closure/consolidation plans discussed thus far have only included elementary schools. Many of these 11,000 stated available seats are located in middle and high schools. (We now know that about 2,000 of these 11,000 are attributed to the now closed Open Campus and Heritage schools, leaving 9,000 empty seats or less.)
Since high schools were supposed to be the focus of SPLOST 3 spending, we have compiled the best data we could regarding high school enrollments vs capacity along with the racial makeup of these schools (for those who still insist that there are "white" schools in the "north" that get more money. As you can see, there are high schools with white students, but they are simply a portion of incredibly diverse schools.)
The facts are the facts. Please read them with an open mind. If you know for certain that we have something incorrect, please let us know and we will fix it. This is entirely possible with capacity numbers, as those have been mysteriously fluctuating in the last year. The enrollment numbers came from the October, 209 FTE count submitted to the state DOE website.
Avondale HS – 639 students - (91.5% black), Having completed an HVAC replacement, they received $10 million for preparing and upgrading the building for moving the HS of the Arts into Avondale HS (to operate as a separate school within a school – 2 principals, 2 sets of teachers, counselors, etc…$$$). The building capacity is 1155. When you add 639 plus 284 from DSA, the total enrollment at Avondale will be 923 – with 232 seats available.
Cedar Grove HS – 1,177 students - (96.8% black), With a design capacity of 1,430, Cedar Grove offers 253 available seats.
Chamblee HS – 1,512 students - (53.9% black, 24.7% white, 7.8% Hispanic, 9.8% Asian, 3.8% other); NO construction so far. No plans drawn. They are scheduled to receive the Auditorium/Career Tech package, but no movement has been made in this effort. The building is old and has problems with mold and other quality of life issues. The current building’s design capacity is 1,364 putting them 148 students over capacity.
Clarkston HS – 1,001 students – (79.4% black, 3.1% white, 3.9% Hispanic, 11.0% Asian, 2.6% other); With a design capacity of 1260, Clarkston offers 259 available seats. With $11,694,682 for an Auditorium/Career Tech Center - Plus an additional $4 million for other improvements – Clarkston should soon be a sought after, very roomy, newly remodeled high school.
Columbia HS – 1,294 students – (98.6% black); Total renovation of the building, including the pool. Also recently completed the auditorium/fine arts/career tech addition. The original design capacity of this building was 1,474 giving Columbia currently at least 180 available seats.
Cross Keys HS – 900 students - (14.0% black, 2.7% white, 69.7% Hispanic, 12.5% Asian, 1.1% other); Cross Keys has been second on the list for a renovation using SPLOST 3 since it’s original proposal—before the vote. Second only to emergency HVAC projects and finishing SPLOST 2 projects. The original amount of money slated for CC was $16,927,348, however a contract was awarded to MEJA Construction at the Oct 08 Board meeting for a mere $11,000,000. Somehow, now that contract was pulled and the Cross Keys renovation was tabled for several months. The High School of Technology North, which was sold to GA Perimeter College, merged with Cross Keys last fall, and much of the new plans for renovation currently started are for the Tech program. The original design capacity of CC is 1,342, however some of the building is now unusable. Including the merge with HSTN, but there are probably at least 100 available seats, if not more. However, if this school becomes the vocational school for the north end of the county – and it’s good – it will grow. Sadly, there are currently NO plans for fixing the outdoor sports track and field, no plans for an auditorium or much more than a “fluff up” of the 1960s-era building.
DeKalb School of Arts – 291 students - (64.8% black, 26.1% white, 2.5% Hispanic, 3.2% Asian, 3.5% other); $10,000,000 has been allocated to move this school to Avondale. (This equates to spending $35,211.00 per student.) Could a better option have been to designate Lakeside as a Magnet School for the Arts, allowing Lakeside (which already has over 400 students in arts programs) to absorb the 284 from DSA and use some of the $10 million for renovations to Lakeside? Why the heavy focus and heavy spending on 284 students at DSA, when there are over 1700 at Lakeside – squeezed into a building designed for 1300? Wasteful spending here. We don’t have the luxury of over-spending on so few.
Druid Hills HS – 1,393 students – (51.8% black, 28.0% white, 6.3% Hispanic, 9.3% Asian, 4.6% other); Druid Hills has enjoyed a renovation and classroom addition – it’s almost completed, however since the classrooms are smaller, the design capacity of 1,218 will not increase and may in fact, decrease, leaving DHHS overcrowded by at least 175 seats.
Dunwoody HS – 1,515 students - (36.5% black, 41.1% white, 13.9% Hispanic, 5.7% Asian, 2.9% other); They have approved bids on the Auditorium/Career Tech addition, which is good news, as it appears that Dunwoody was tabled for quite some time, due to the Pat Pope investigation. Work is scheduled for this summer. (Capacity is 1386 for Dunwoody – currently putting them at 129 over capacity and growth projections put them at over 700 over capacity by 2016.)
Martin Luther King Jr. HS – 1,833 students - (98.1% black); From the website: “MLK opened in August, 2001, as the newest high school in the DeKalb School system. This beautiful facility is home to grades 9-12. This beautiful new school has a green and inviting campus, an ideal place for students to learn.” Scheduled to receive a multi-classroom addition with SPLOST 3. Plus a new project has been discussed and temporarily tabled for this school - MLK HS - 9th Grade Academy - $6,858,842 With a current capacity of 1,407, MLK is over-capacity by 426, however, this crowding was supposed to have been relieved by the brand new Arabia HS in August, 2009—but Arabia opened as a magnet program of sorts instead.
Lakeside HS – 1,703 students - (33.0% black, 41.1% white, 12.3% Hispanic, 8.3% Asian, 3.3% other); Lakeside received an emergency HVAC replacement using SPLOST 2 funding (the AC had actually shut down and students took final exams in 95 degree heat.) They say they have asked for bids on the Auditorium/Career Tech addition, designs been drawn but ground has not been broken and in fact, the promised construction start date of May has been moved yet again several months. This school is currently approaching 400 students OVER design capacity and has 21 trailers sitting on the unusable tennis courts.
Lithonia HS – 1,506 students - (95.4% black); “Moved into a beautiful new, totally wireless facility on October 21, 2002. The school has 188, 000 square feet of space and is one of the largest schools in DeKalb County. Lithonia has a state-of-the-art media center, a music, art, and NJROTC wings, a cyber cafe for parents to communicate online with teachers, and a 500-seat auditorium.” Scheduled to receive an addition with SPLOST 3 but that was tabled. Capacity is currently 1,407, leaving them over-capacity by 99, but again, the original promise was that Arabia would relieve over-crowding here, yet Arabia became a magnet instead.
McNair HS – 1,035 students - (98.5% black); COMPLETELY RENOVATED 2006 – including a new auditorium. Even going so far as to spend $25,000 for the Mustang Statues on the pillars at the entry. The building with a capacity of 1,701 – currently only has 1,035 students leaving 666 available seats.
Miller Grove HS – 1,650 students - (96.9% black); A couple of years ago, the website stated, “Miller Grove High is the newest and largest constructed high school in the history of The DeKalb County System. All instructional spaces receive natural daylight through walls of windows. The media center and cafeteria are state of the art, and the gymnasium comfortably seats over 2,000 people. Miller Grove High School is located next to the new DeKalb Medical Center. Key personnel at the hospital have made a commitment to work closely with MGHS. Having a 2,345 square foot Health Occupations Center is just another dynamic feature of Miller Grove High School. Miller Grove High School is truly a state of the art 21st century school facility.” With a current capacity of 1,764, Miller Grove is has 114 available seats. Even so, a SPLOST 3 funded addition is still planned for this facility to relieve over-crowding.
Open Campus HS – 604 students - (82.4% black, 3.1% white, 10.3% Hispanic, 2.3% Asian, 1.9% other); $10 million was allocated to “move” Open Campus to the Mtn Industrial facility.
Redan HS – 1,433 students - (96.8% black); With an original design capacity of 1,298, Redan is over capacity by 135 students. Redan is scheduled to receive a $4,819,395 Classroom/Career Tech addition using SPLOST 3 dollars, which will alleviate the overcrowding.
Southwest DeKalb HS – 1,782 students - (96.8% black); SW enjoyed a total renovation and Auditorium/Career Tech addition using SPLOST 2 funding. Additional funding (approx $2 million) for construction beyond the original scope was also built and plans are underway for a performing arts auditorium. With a design capacity of 1,365, SWDK is still 417 students over capacity – requiring over 20 trailers on site. This is a magnet school, some would say enrollment should be limited to the number of available seats.
Stephenson HS – 1,783 students - (96.4% black); Stephenson HS - 9th Grade Academy was built using millions from the SPLOST 2 funds. The capacity is 2,098 for this building, leaving 315 seats available.
Stone Mountain HS – 1,341 students - (89.3% black); With an original design capacity of 1,298, Stone Mountain is fairly well-balanced with only 43 students over capacity.
Towers HS – 1,007 students - (94.8% black); Received a total renovation using SPLOST 2 including new bleachers as an extra budget item. Interestingly, the building capacity is 1,365 – so it would seem an addition was not necessary. (At least compared to other schools’ needs.) Yet - here we spent $1,500,000 SPLOST 3 funding for 8 Classrooms Additions - 12,000 SF). PLUS $350,000 for an addition of an art studio. Moreover, they have received a auditorium/tech addition. This leaves Towers with 358 available seats.
Tucker HS – 1,414 students - (72.0% black, 15.1% white, 5.4% Hispanic, 3.9% Asian, 3.5% other); Scheduled with SPLOST 3 to be renovate, Tucker had to be TORN DOWN and REPLACED, due to asbestos and other contaminants and is currently in the process of being completely rebuilt. (Original school’s design capacity was 1,474) Tucker will be a nice high school when finished, with the first county-built school auditorium in north DeKalb. And their state champion football team will have an impressive practice field.
ARABIA MOUNTAIN HS – Just opened in August, 2009, Arabia was originally designed to alleviate overcrowding in the Lithonia area of South DeKalb, however, the three other high schools (Lithonia, Miller Grove and MLK) – that were supposed to be sending students to Arabia – were also scheduled to receive millions for classroom additions – to relieve overcrowding! This spending MUST be reassigned to alleviate real over-crowding in other high schools. Arabia currently has 1,001 students in grades 9-11. Building capacity is a minimum of 1,600 with expansion to over 2,100 according to the original press release.