Decatur Schools Superintendent Phyllis Edwards .
The school board will consider her idea during a meeting that starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, in the Central Offices at 758 Scott Blvd.
The district central office is now located in the old Westchester Elementary building. That building needs to be used as a school again because enrollment went up about 12 percent last school year compared to the previous school year, mostly in the lower grades.
The city plans to renovate Beacon Hill for city use. In a letter to the school board, Edwards says of the building that was :
The building would allow the system to have approximately the same amount of space as currently used at Westchester. The building can be designed to meet the system's needs of parking, board room space, and program management space so central office personnel will not be located in school buildings where there is little space.
It will also provide a sense of community and honor to the neighbors and families that cherished this building when it was an operational school. For the sake of history and community, this would be a positive move. It is also a plausible choice because it does not utilize spaces on other campuses that could be utilized for future expansion if needed.
The building would be built by the city and when finished the school system would purchase the space. The drawback is the price (last price received: $5.9 million) which exceeds what our initial estimate was for the new central office. However, the city is able to allow the school system to fund the cost over time.
The other options are to construct a new building on land near Decatur High or rent office space.
Construction would not allow room for growth and would limit what DHS could do with the land, she said. Renting would cost about $500,000 yearly, to come from the operating budget, and would create parking problems.
To see a full agenda for the Tuesday meeting, go to the City Schools of Decatur webpage.
Here are other stories about the school system's search for new administrative offices.