Atlanta school board OKs step that could result in some property sales

The Atlanta school board agreed Monday to further review whether to sell 16 properties that are vacant or not being used by the district.

The properties are scattered throughout the city and include vacant buildings such as the former Carey, Lakewood Heights, and Rosalie Wright elementary schools plus inactive or small pieces of land.

Several residents during Monday’s school board meeting urged district leaders to remove a vacant property that was part of Lakewood Heights Elementary School from the list. The school closed in 2004.

The residents said school district officials haven’t adequately discussed the plans with the community. One resident proposed using the property as an early learning facility. Another speaker, Trehvis Foster, said if the school board sells the property, it should be redeveloped as housing for first responders and other city workers.

“It could be a win-win for everybody,” Foster said.

ExploreAtlanta school board advised to consider getting rid of 16 properties

School district officials insisted that they’ve made no final decisions about the properties. They said the next step is for staff to conduct more research and make recommendations. District officials said there will be community engagement in each step of the process.

Consultants from the Sizemore Group, hired by Atlanta Public Schools in 2019 to create a facilities master plan, presented the recommendations about which school district properties to be deemed as surplus in August. APS administrators also weighed in on the plan before sending it to the board for approval.