Atlanta school officials say the property purchased for the new high school in Buckhead has several existing structures that can be utilized for the campus.
“We will preserve several of the buildings that will work, including a parking deck and some of the parking lots, and then go ahead with design and construction of the main building,” said Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Keith Bromery.
“Also, it is my understanding that one of the buildings on what was the IBM complex was used for training, and there will be an effort to maintain that. It’s already kind of a classroom setting.”
Bromery said the property, located on Northside Parkway, also has infrastructure in place as well.
“It’s plumbed for a lot of the infrastructure you need, sewer, water, that kind of stuff,” Bromery said. “The entrance to the campus, exits, roadways inside, are largely there already.”
On May 2, the school system announced it had completed the purchase of the 56.6-acre school site. The Atlanta school system reports it will spend $55.3 million for the property. IBM, the current tenant, will pay $23.6 million to the former property owner, Jamestown Properties, to satisfy the remainder of its lease agreement, the school system said.
The property, now occupied by IBM, will be the site of a new high school to take the place of North Atlanta High School. The recently renovated North Atlanta High School will become the home of a middle school to replace Sutton Middle School.
The school system had considered purchasing the Paces Apartments on East Andrews Road. The district abandoned that site after facing broad community opposition to it. School board members were bombarded with letters of protest against the site, which neighbors claimed was surrounded by dense development and in the middle of an area congested with traffic.
Bromery said the school system expects the new high school will open its doors in time for the school year beginning in August of 2013.
Design work for the school has not yet been performed, Bromery said.
“We’re going to include everything you would normally anticipate a large high school would have — a gymnasium, playing field, auditorium, computer labs,” Bromery said. “All of those will be included,” Bromery said.