Dunwoody, GA October 5, 2016 – The City of Dunwoody and DeKalb County Board of Education (BOE) have agreed in principle on an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the purchase, sale, and exchange of real estate as well as improvements and maintenance of recreational fields and facilities. The agreement provides the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) with approximately 10 acres of property for the purpose of building a new Austin Elementary School adjacent to the school’s existing location and delivers future park space and shared access to sports facilities to the City of Dunwoody.
Mutually negotiated by Dunwoody and the DeKalb County BOE during the past year, the agreement details an arrangement under which the city would purchase the entire 9.8-acre property where the current Austin Elementary School is located on Roberts Drive, and a 7.9-acre portion of the existing Peachtree Charter Middle School (PCMS) on North Peachtree Road. Dunwoody would also obtain shared access to a four-acre track and sports field on the PCMS property.
The DCSD would purchase approximately 10.2 acres of the 27.8 acres of Dunwoody Park/Dunwoody Nature Center property on Roberts Drive for future construction of a state-of-the-art, 900-seat Austin Elementary School facility.
“This is an initial agreement that will be vetted in a ‘public town hall’ type meeting where citizen input will be sought and evaluated. A public vote by the City Council will be taken after Dunwoody citizens have an opportunity to hear and comment on the agreement,” said Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal. “There are details within the agreement which will need to be reviewed and worked out. After hearing public, input the City Council will decide the best course of action."
Under the agreement, two new baseball fields will be built at the newly acquired 7.98-acre site adjacent to PCMS as replacement for two baseball fields currently at Dunwoody Park. Construction will be structured and coordinated so that Austin Elementary students and families can continue to attend the current school site until the new building is completed. Dunwoody will maintain access to the baseball fields at one or the other site throughout construction.
“The agreement is a collaborative partnership with the city and a realization of the district’s commitment to the community, shared through our Building S.P.A.C.E.S. Initiative and public involvement process,” said DeKalb County School’s Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green. “We remain focused on determining how, where, and why future revenues from the approved E-SPLOST program should be dedicated to help improve and modernize our buildings and infrastructure.”
DeKalb County voters approved the 2012-2017 education-special purpose local option sales tax (E-SPLOST) program in November 2011 and a portion of these funds was designated for construction of a new Austin Elementary School facility.
At closing, the BOE will pay Dunwoody $3.632 million. That covers the net value of the land purchases and facility use agreements including without limitation, a DCSD lease on the Austin Elementary School property while the new school is being built, construction and maintenance of two new baseball fields and facilities, and the construction and maintenance of a field house and various stormwater upgrades and irrigation system installation/ operations for the track/football field at the PCMS property.
“This mutually beneficial agreement can open the door for both existing and additional sports programming that’s currently lacking for a city the size of Dunwoody,” said Dunwoody Parks Director Brent Walker. “By upgrading the infrastructure at the track/football field and constructing two top-quality baseball fields, the city will own or have access to approximately 12 acres of field space for area youth. This could be in use in 2019.”
As Dunwoody and the DeKalb County BOE move forward to finalize the agreement, several public meetings will be held. Residents and interested community members are invited to learn more at the following events:
- Public Information Meeting: Monday, October 17, 2016, 6 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Dunwoody, GA 30346)
- City Council Meeting: Monday, October 24, 2016, 6 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Dunwoody, GA 30346)
- Public Information Meeting: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 6 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Dunwoody, GA 30346)
- City Council Meeting: Monday, November 14, 2016, 6 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Dunwoody, GA 30346)