St. Martin’s expansion OK’d

The DeKalb County Commission voted Feb. 24 to approve a special-use permit for St. Martin’s Episcopal School to expand its facilities, an effort it plans to begin in May 2010.

The school had agreed to a voluntary deferral of its application Jan. 27 to finalize an agreement with neighbors in Oglethorpe Estates.

Linda Taylor, the president of the Oglethorpe Estates Civic Association, said her organization sent letters to county commissioners and planning staff members stating the neighborhood did not object to the school’s plan. But the letters were not an endorsement, she said.

School spokeswoman Christina Mimms said St. Martin’s agreed at the neighbors’ request to plant additional landscaping on its campus and to install a traffic “pork chop” to prevent exiting cars from turning left onto Lanier Drive.

If the school is able to raise the money to begin its expansion in May 2010, the project should be completed in August 2011, Mimms said. “We’re very mindful of the economy right now.”

Faculty and staff at the school are “very excited and very glad to get the approval,” she said.

St. Martin’s plans to build a two-story middle school building with a 16,500-square-foot footprint and as much as 40,000 square feet of space. Its new special-use permit includes permission to expand St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, a separate entity on the same property, by 5,700 square feet.

Schools set for work assessment

DeKalb County high schools are offering free Work Ready assessments to high school seniors and parents.

DeKalb’s Work Ready program is designed to improve the training and marketability of the work force. Work Ready certification shows that workers have the talent for existing jobs and the skills to master the technologies tomorrow’s jobs will require.

The Work Ready assessment measures core skills in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. More than 200 companies in Georgia recognize the National Work Ready Certificate for employment.

In the fall semester, 102 people took the assessment at Cross Keys High School, and 87 were found to be Work Ready: 33 at the bronze level, meaning they’re prepared for 35 percent of jobs; 48 at the silver level (prepared for 65 percent of jobs); and six at the gold level (90 percent of jobs).