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Demolition for Decatur’s Talley Street school begins

Demolition on several old commercial buildings and homes has begun in preparation for Decatur’s new 3-5 school on Talley Street, scheduled to open August 2019. Though slightly behind schedule, and though a construction start date (and groundbreaking ceremony) is still unknown, Superintendent David Dude anticipates the school opening on time.

Dude said he’s also holding off hiring a principal for the school, and will probably post the job opening in December. He is hiring a new executive director of schools to replace Joe Austin, who recently resigned.

The new director, Dude said, will make a lot of the preliminary “nuts and bolts decisions,” like identifying Talley’s teachers and staff. In the fall he plans on creating a committee to determine the school’s name.

Talley Street is Decatur’s first new school built on a new site since Renfroe Middle School in the early 1970s. It will include two two-story classroom wings facing Talley, and a courtyard between the west wing and the gymnasium/cafeteria on the campus’ south side.

Other features include a 40,000 square-foot play field, roughly the size of a soccer field, a smaller playground, and areas for future permanent classroom expansion and modular classrooms if needed.

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For now about 55 percent of the 6.38-acre site will be green space. It’s anticipated the school opening the 2019-20 year with an enrollment of 750.

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