Cobb parents rally district to rebuild Sprayberry High School

Students, teachers and community members demonstrate in front of Sprayberry High School during on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Students, teachers and community members demonstrate in front of Sprayberry High School during on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Parents are calling on the Cobb County School District to rebuild one of the oldest high schools in the East Cobb area.

About 125 parents and students rallied outside the school on Sunday — several waving signs and wearing T-shirts that said “it’s our turn” — to urge the district to overhaul Sprayberry High School in Marietta. The school opened at the intersection of Sandy Plains and Piedmont roads in 1973.

(Left to right) Zion Smith, Milady Smith, Jessica Pedraza, Jack Rollins and Ramsey Smith listen to Cobb County school board member Randy Scamihorn answer questions during a rally at Sprayberry High School on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
(Left to right) Zion Smith, Milady Smith, Jessica Pedraza, Jack Rollins and Ramsey Smith listen to Cobb County school board member Randy Scamihorn answer questions during a rally at Sprayberry High School on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

East Cobb residents Sharona Sandberg and Shane Spink, both parents of Sprayberry students, earlier this month began the campaign. Sandberg said a major renovation or a rebuild is “something that’s been needed for a long time.”

“You can just see it,” Sandberg said. “There have been some changes, but not a lot, compared to the other schools in the area.

David Chastain, Cobb County school board member, speaks during a rally at Sprayberry High School on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
David Chastain, Cobb County school board member, speaks during a rally at Sprayberry High School on Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Parents and community members held the rally to encourage Cobb County school board members to allocate funds to renovate the school. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

The Cobb school district previously used sales tax revenue for major additions and renovations at Lassiter, Pope, Walton and Wheeler high schools. Its latest Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program, which collects a one-cent sales tax to pay for school construction and renovation projects, calls for renovating and modifying Sprayberry’s career tech center and replacing the school’s gym. School board members in December 2018 voted to hire an architect for that project.

Cobb Board of Education member David Chastain, whose post includes Sprayberry, said the school is on target to be included in the project list for the renewal of the Ed-SPLOST. Voters will consider renewing the tax on the Nov. 2 ballot. He said he and others in the district are aware that it’s time for Sprayberry to receive a major update.

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“I think you folks are being heard already,” said Chastain, who addressed the crowd.

Effie Zoheir, a parent who lives in an area zoned for Lassiter, said when she and her husband heard about Sprayberry’s International Spanish Language Academy, they decided to give the program a shot.

Zoheir said she has been happy with the choice to enroll her children in Sprayberry, but would like to see the buildings upgraded.

“My (older) children might not ... see it, but my kindergartener might benefit from what we are doing today,” she said of any future renovation projects.

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