DeKalb finds 1,400 maintenance needs at high schools

The DeKalb County School District has identified more than 1,000 maintenance problems at its 22 high schools, interim Superintendent Vasanne Tinsley said.

The 1,455 needs range from major roof repairs or tree removals to new paint jobs or light replacements. Most of the issues can be addressed within a month. The district is prioritizing safety and security needs, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning fixes.

“We have a lot of work to do and the work continues,” Tinsley said at a school board meeting Monday. “Safety and wellness of our students must remain the top priority.”

Tinsley did not present a cost estimate for completing the projects. Most will be addressed by the district’s maintenance staff. Some work will be done by outside contractors.

ExploreDeKalb school board OKs Druid Hills High updates after state intervenes

Recent controversy over poor conditions at Druid Hills High School put a spotlight on maintenance needs throughout the district. Druid Hills High students made a video showcasing electrical and plumbing problems at the school, and students at other schools across the district have followed suit.

Rather than approving the recommended upgrades after the Druid Hills High video surfaced, the board decided to prioritize smaller, critical projects across the district.

After that, the state intervened. It issued a corrective action plan that required the district to commit to renovating Druid Hills High and started the clock on a list of more than 100 immediate needs at the school that must be addressed by the end of June. The district has already completed more than half of those tasks, Tinsley said last week.

ExploreState aims to help all DeKalb schools, not just Druid Hills High

Having already evaluated each high school, the district is now in the process of determining what needs exist at middle and elementary schools, she said.

DeKalb is the state’s third-largest school district, with nearly 94,000 students.

The majority of the issues at the district’s high schools can be fixed within 30 days. A little more than 300 could take up to four months.