Thursday, July 8, 2010

We need more sharing of resources between Schools and the Dunwoody Community around them.

 Peachtree Charter Middle School Ball Fields

It is my belief that the DeKalb County School System needs to encourage more partnerships between the themselves and the communities they serve to maximize the use of the DCSS facilities, both building space and surrounding green space. With the proximity of the huge expanses of land at Peachtree Charter Middle School directly across from Brook Run Park, those rarely used ball fields could be used as active park land after school hours while Brook Run remains at least targeted for semi-passive use. I had a neighbor (yes Magoo, I'm talking about you) who just last week asked where in Dunwoody could he and his rugby friends could find a large piece of flat ground to play regularly. Peachtree Middle and Dunwoody High was my first answer but he said they were approached and were turned down. The land and amenities around the schools are primarily there for the students but they are were also paid for with all the citizens tax money, therefore those fields should be fully utilized when able to reasonably do so.

My friend Kim Gokce has been working very hard for the last year to form a public/private partnership to support students at Cross Keys High School. He will present his final proposal to the board of education on Monday, for approval of a school partnership with the YMCA to renovate the athletic fields so that the Y can form some very active after school programs on the school property. The Y will pay for the entire project, they just need the board's blessing.

Kim has an online petition of support and I hope that you can read more about the proposal here, visit the link below and choose to sign on as a member of the DeKalb County Schools community in the hope that more of these kinds of supportive partnerships can develop. Signing the petition is simply a show of support for Kim's effort and the YMCA's concerns for at-risk students, it is not a political statement of any kind. It is Kim's hope to mentor more school communities into forming similar partnerships and it is my hope that this will only be the first of many partnerships to come.

Here's the link -

Thanks so much for your time!



waterman said...

I absolutely agree. We pay for it and hopefully the local school administration will permit it. Public land is public land.. I'm really impressed that Magoo is still playing rugby. Wow.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I believe the fields at Dunwoody, baseball, football, soccer, etc. have been upgraded and are maintained by the various booster groups and not DCSS? Am I mistaken?

While I don't have a problem with groups using these fields, are they going to be responsible for assisting, monetarily, with the upkeep? I know for years, before the new facility was built, the fields at PCMS were used by various soccer groups and the fields became abysmal for the students.


My problem with the Peachtree and Dunwoody fields and their usage is that someone such as Magoo could take the honest approach and ask permission for use of the fields and be turned down; yet those soccer leagues that have no approval whatsoever persist at Peachtree.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Do soccer teams still use the Peachtree field? I know the Dunwoody Lacrosse team practiced at Peachtree last year, but I don't believe I have seen any soccer teams - they must be "flying under the radar" as it I thought they were told they could not use the Peachtree fields any longer.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Did this group complete and submit the Facilities Application?


Allow me to clarify:

When I played at Peachtree MS in 1999, we routinely had to run off soccer players from tearing up the fields.

My vague understanding of the situation is that the folks who play soccer there are not associated in any capacity with the community or schools. They have their own informal league. For an analogy, imagine if you and like 90 of your friends decided to start a soccer league, but you never got permission from DCSS to play on the fields, nor do you provide money back to DCSS for tearing up the fields. That's basically what those leagues are. (It's SO much more than a random pick-up game.)

Now, it's not my area to judge, but I figure that if someone is going to tear up Peachtree's already unkempt fields, at least they should get Peachtree's permission first; or at least try to get the field in a better condition.

Oh, and I don't know if this has changed, but DCSS FORBADE Peachtree from running off those soccer leagues from plying on their fields.

So basically you could play soccer at the fields, tear them up and then thumb your nose if someone asks you to leave.

But if someone like Maguigan ASKED, then he is the bad guy.

But again, my understanding is sort of vague. I seriously hope this has changed; or will change soon.

John Heneghan said...

It took awhile but look at what is being presented at the Monday night Dunwooody City Council Meeting.

Intergovernmental Agreement with DeKalb County Board of Education for the Use of Peachtree Charter Middle School