Sandy Springs resident Tom Ramseur looks over a drawing of The Galloway Schools proposed softball field and tennis courts on High Point Road.
Sandy Springs resident Tom Ramseur looks over a drawing of The Galloway Schools proposed softball field and tennis courts on High Point Road.

The Galloway School’s proposal to build an athletic facility in Sandy Springs is drawing passionate attacks from neighbors who argue it will create runoff problems and bring unwanted traffic.

“There is not one single person in this community who wants you here,” Sandy Springs resident Sheila Cornelius told Galloway officials during an Oct. 27 meeting at Sandy Springs City Hall.

“We don’t want you here. This is not good for our community. We want you to expand and grow your program, but we want you to go somewhere else.”

Many among the more than 60 Sandy Springs and Buckhead residents crowded into the Sandy Springs City Hall meeting room applauded her.

Galloway officials want to build a softball field, tennis courts, a concessions stand and bathrooms on 8.3 acres at the end of High Point Road, in the city of Sandy Springs, just across the city line from Buckhead neighborhoods in Atlanta. After discussions with neighbors, the proposal is to go to the city Planning Commission in December, city officials said.

Galloway representatives said the school’s athletics programs have outgrown its Buckhead campus and more fields are needed to accommodate Galloway’s students. The school already has some off-campus athletics facilities on Defoors Ferry Road, Athletics Director Josh Burr told the crowd.

The proposed Sandy Springs courts and field, Galloway lawyer Sharon Gay told the crowd, would not include lighting, bleachers or a sound system and would only be used during daylight hours. Most players would be bused from the school’s campus at Chastain Park, representatives said, but the facility would include a parking lot. “We know High Point Road is narrow and nobody wants us to park on High Point Road,” she said.

But residents argued the facility would draw too much traffic to an area they said now has relatively little.

“It’s just a quiet little residential area,” said Tom Ramseur, who said he’d live in the neighborhood for more than 20 years. “I think the increased traffic would be bad.”

Ramseur also worried that traffic noise from nearby Ga. 400 would be louder after the removal of trees for the athletic fields.

Alan Toney wondered whether the project would require widening High Point at some places. “High Point Road, the last 300 yards of it, is basically a driveway for houses,” he said. “Are you going have to widen it? Can you imagine what you are going to do those people who live down there on a quiet street and you’re going to bring buses through there?”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.