Jennifer Hatfield, the PTA president at Evansdale Elementary in north DeKalb, said the new plan will satisfy parents in her area. The old one called for the closure of nearby Livsey Elementary, a relatively small building tucked into a residential area. The plan also would have shifted some Evansdale students into a different middle school attendance zone.
“It appears they listened to us,” Hatfield said. “They’ve taken out everything that could potentially trigger controversy or opposition.”
DeKalb officials said the new plan had to be completed quickly to qualify for state construction funds. It was previously presented in conjunction with a redistricting plan and a December deadline, but officials then realized two things: they had more time, and they did not have to present a redistricting plan to the state. Thus, the deadline moved, and the talk of large-scale redistricting ceased.
The facilities plan, which will be funded in part by local sales tax revenue, calls for the expansion of several buildings. Austin, Fernbank, Pleasantdale and Rockbridge elementaries will grow to 900 students, while Smoke Rise Elementary expands to 600. McNair Middle will grow to 1,200 students and Chamblee High will expand to 1,600, while several schools will add an undisclosed amount of capacity.