DeKalb County School System administrators conducted a question-and-answer session during the community meeting Feb. 11 about the merger of Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven and the DeKalb High School of Technology North.
The school system has allocated $16.9 million from the county’s third special purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST III) for the renovation and consolidation. The merger will bring construction, cosmetology, computer information systems, dental, health care sciences, work-based learning and, after the renovation, automotive programs to Cross Keys.
Q: The renovation and move are two different items. Three schools have $10 million budgeted just for the move, but nothing has been budgeted for the HSTN move, and you said the $800,000 budgeted for a new roof will go back into general funds. Will there be additional funds for the move?
Pat Pope, chief operations officer: They are not different items, but the funding will be separate.
Q: With automotive in one place and other programs in another, will DCSS still transport students to the different locations for programs?
Robert Moseley, associate superintendent: Yes, it will be a transportation inefficiency, but we will serve all the students.
Q: Will HSTN be a school within a school, or will it be integrated with Cross Keys?
Moseley: We’ll have a seamless blending of two student bodies into one.
Q: Why was Cross Keys second on the list for SPLOST III improvements, but nothing has happened here, and money is being spent in other parts of the county?
Pope: Cross Keys got behind for a variety of reasons. The first architect quit. The bids came back, and the lowest bid was not the most respected contractor. New rules slowed the process of issuing a new bid
Q: When can we get a project schedule to monitor? Will it be online?
Pope: Once a bid is awarded, the contractor has 10 days to provide a schedule. From that point, we will put the schedule online. Also, (architect) Andreas Peeples will be at the school bimonthly and available for meetings, and citizens can call the office with any questions.
Q: Will construction occupy our student parking lot as in the original plan?
Mike Worthington, director of facilities: No, the temporary classrooms, or quads, will be placed between the parking lot and tennis courts. No student parking will be occupied.
Q: Will vocational and technical programs meet certification standards in the quads?
Moseley: Yes, the quad classrooms will be big enough. We will use 60-by-60 quads for the technical classrooms during the renovation. Once the technical program moves into their permanent classrooms, the quads will be divided into multiple classrooms.
Q: Where in the process is the renovation now?
Pope: Right now we are at 45 percent design. We will have milestones, dates to completion, etc. Completion is scheduled for August 2010, but I will be conservative and say December 2010.