A portion of the six-acre site on Talley Street where the new Decatur school will get built. Most of the summer will be spent demoslishing several old commercial buildings and houses on the site, including this office building and warehouse. The school’s scheduled to open in August, 2019. Bill Banks for the AJC

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.

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.