What will happen to the old Westchester Elementary?
That's a question the Decatur School Board will talk about in coming months, possibly at a Jan. 23 meeting at which the board will discuss how to spend SPLOST money.
The Decatur system is growing fast, .
The system already has a building designed as an elementary school -- . The building was not used as a school in 2010 when the administrative staff moved in.
Will Westchester be turned into a school again? How soon?
A committee that studied enrollment trends has recommended against rezoning or reopening Westchester or any other school buildings for the 2012-13 school year.
In a Jan. 10 Power Point that summarized the committee's work, Assistant Superintendnent Thomas Van Soelen went over some of the pro and cons of reopening Westchester.
The simple availability is the big plus, but he noted that neighborhoods around Westchester have the lowest concentration of early-grade students in the city.
If Westchester were opened, it could become a school for students through third grade with a small or "controlled choice" enrollment zone, he said.
The administration has been considering the Westchester conversion for a while. In a FAQ before the November SPLOST referendum, the administration said:
"Central Office employees have been working out of the Westchester building. If enrollment continues to rise, the building may again be needed to house students. The administration has looked at the possibility of renting space within the city. The approximate annual rental cost of $250,000 must come from general funds, not SPLOST funds."
When Westchester was converted into administrative offices, some Decatur parents grumbled because students had to take classes in trailers while the 4/5 Academy was under construction, according to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
For a full picture of how the school system is working to predict the size of the student body, check out the Power Point for the full report on enrollment trends. Decatur Metro provided a good synopsis of the report.
The Jan. 23 meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the administrative offices at 758 Scott Blvd.