DUNWOODY, Ga. — The DeKalb County School District will consider redistricting to alleviate overcrowding at schools in Dunwoody and throughout the county.
On July 8, the City of Dunwoody ordered the school district to stop work on the installation of new trailers at Dunwoody High School because it had not secured the proper land disturbance permits. Work resumed two days later, but city staff and community members have been waiting for a long-term plan from the school district beyond portable classrooms.
At the time of the trailer installation, Mayor Denis Shortal said he had not heard any long-term plan from the school district.
At the July 8 City Council meeting, Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said the Board of Education was abusing its power by not getting the proper permits.
“They’ve broken every rule they could practically,” Deutsch said.
Since then, the School Board issued a statement saying it is planning a 41-classroom addition to Dunwoody High School, which is in the preliminary design phase and will be funded by E-SPLOST V. The new classrooms are in addition to the two quad-trailers it added to the school.
The school district will also install five single-wide portable classrooms and a restroom unit at Dunwoody Elementary School. It is installing portable classrooms at eight sites this school year.
The trailers at Peachtree Charter Middle School are 13 years old, two years shy of their recommended lifespan. One trailer at Dunwoody High School, which is standing on cinder blocks, won’t be ready in time for the first week of school, district officials said, and some of the middle school trailers won’t be ready until the third week of classes.
During a tour of area facilities July 18, DeKalb school officials found water damage at Dunwoody High School trailers. The party included DeKalb Schools Chief Operations Officer Dan Drake, Superintendent Stephen Green and Dunwoody’s regional Board of Education representative Stan Jester.
Jester said the long-term solution lies in redistricting. The Board of Education is working on a redistricting plan that may involve professional consultants. Even with major overcrowding at Dunwoody and Chamblee Charter high schools, there are still 6,000 empty seats across high schools in the county, he said.
“Dunwoody High School is on a postage stamp-size campus,” Jester said. “I am collaboratively working with administration and the School Board to figure out how to optimize redistricting.”
The earliest redistricting could be implemented would be in the fall of 2020, he said.
Dunwoody High School will have one sports field for more than 2,000 students this fall. There are no plans announced yet for an additional gym or multi-use field, Jester said.
School officials were scheduled to make a public presentation to the City Council this week, City Attorney Bill Riley said. Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki was set to present a construction update at the July 22 meeting as well.