Construction of Brookhaven’s Skyland Park has to be put off for several months after a delay in the closing date between DeKalb schools and the state over the purchase of the State Vital Records Office building.

Plans for the new Skyland Park and elementary school to be named for U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Click to enlarge. (City of Brookhaven)

The state and the DeKalb County Board of Education were originally slated to close Jan. 31 on the school district’s $2.8 million purchase of the building currently located at 2600 Skyland Drive. The closing date has been moved to March 15.

“The delay in the closing of the Skyland properties (Skyland Park and state property) is due to two reasons: the state of Georgia needed more time to move out and the DeKalb County School District needed more time as bonds for E-SPLOST cash flow will not be available until early March,” said Andre Riley, spokesperson for DeKalb schools.

The closing with the city of Brookhaven is moving from Jan. 31 to a date between March 15 and April 30, depending on the date the state is able to be fully moved out, Riley said.

“We will know in early March with more clarity when the closing with the city will be established. We are closing with the State of Georgia on their property on March 15 regardless of when they are able to be fully moved out,” Riley added.

In May, the Brookhaven City Council voted to approve an agreement with DeKalb schools for the school district to purchase 10 acres of Skyland Park for $4.7 million to build a new elementary school to help alleviate overcrowding. In return, the school district will transfer the approximate 4 acres of the vital records office site it is buying from the state to the city for the new park.

Construction of the new park was set to begin in early February once the vital records office building was demolished, but that date has now been moved to late April or early May, Quill said. Completion of the park was also set to be in July but now it appears it will be sometime in the fall. The closing date between DeKalb schools and the city for the Skyland Park property is slated for mid-March through April 30, Quill said.

“While we’re disappointed in the delay, we remain excited that we will be building a brand new Skyland Park next year,” said Brian Borden, director of Parks and Recreation. Bids for park construction have already gone out.

Of the $4.7 million being paid to the city, $2.3 million will be used to demolish the state building with the another approximate $2.3 million spent to build the new Skyland Park to include a multi-use field and a playground.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.