Atlanta school district to renew church lease for kindergarten space

Atlanta Public Schools will continue to rent space from a church to ease overcrowding at Springdale Park Elementary School. (Alyssa Pointer/AJC file photo)

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Atlanta Public Schools will continue to rent space from a church to ease overcrowding at Springdale Park Elementary School. (Alyssa Pointer/AJC file photo)

Atlanta Public Schools will renew its lease with a DeKalb County church to provide extra classrooms for next school year.

The Atlanta Board of Education recently agreed to extend a rental agreement with Atlanta Metropolitan Cathedral, located at 999 Briarcliff Road. The site is used for kindergarten students who attend Springdale Park Elementary School, about a half-mile away.

The district has relied on the church for the past several years to ease overcrowding at east-side schools.

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Under the new terms of the lease, APS will pay just over $288,000 to rent the facility, plus utilities, for the 2022-2023 school year, according to board documents. If needed, the district can renew the agreement for an additional year at a slightly lower annual cost of $202,799.

The agreement gives the school exclusive use of more than 10,000 square feet of classroom areas, as well as access to other spaces in the facility such as a reception hall, kitchen and courtyard.

Springdale Park opened in 2009 with just over 360 students. This fall, it enrolled 722 students.

District officials are working on a facility master plan that will, in part, address overcrowding concerns at several elementary campuses that have seen an increase in students. The plan will provide guidance on merging, closing and opening schools based on enrollment forecasts.

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Administrators have proposed opening a fourth and fifth grade academy to serve students from Springdale Park and three other neighborhoods schools.

Critics of that concept have raised numerous concerns, including that it won’t do enough to solve the overcrowding problem.

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