As part of its master plan to improve school facilities and alleviate overcrowding, the DeKalb County School District has released preliminary reports showing the “facility conditions” of schools throughout the district, including six that serve the Dunwoody community.
The facility condition reports indicated that most of the schools serving Dunwoody are in “average” or “below average” condition. Many of the schools need ADA updates, need new fire alarms and need to fix cracked sidewalks.
The school district began working toward the creation of its “Comprehensive Master Plan” last August. The master plan is expected to provide the school district with a district-wide facilities plan through 2031.
At a March 29 virtual public town hall, representatives from the architectural and consulting firms helping to formulate the master plan — Perkins&Will, Jacobs Engineering Group and Cropper GIS — presented the structure for the two main assessments used to grade schools. The Educational Suitability Assessment (ESA) and the Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) will be used to evaluate each school, and will be continuously revised based on feedback from the schools and principals, according to a spokesperson for the master plan.
The school district has posted preliminary FCA reports, which evaluate the physical state of all facilities within the district, both to find deficiencies that need immediate attention and issues that may arise down the road. Each school has received an FCA score, where a higher score on a scale of up to 100 indicates better facility health. Deficiencies are ranked from 1 to 5, where a Priority 1 level would denote a “critical concern” and a Priority 5 level would denote an enhancement that is largely aesthetic in nature.
The school district has also posted ESA reports for each school. The ESA evaluates program spaces, which can refer to classrooms, office spaces, athletic spaces, media centers, cafeterias, and more.
The current ESA reports and FCA reports are subject to revisions for the foreseeable future. However, a snapshot of what the FCA reports for six schools that serve the Dunwoody community looked like in early May can be found below.
Noel Maloof, the deputy chief operations officer for the DeKalb County School District, said during the town hall that the district aims to have the Comprehensive Master Plan finalized before November 2021, which is when the next special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) referendum will be on the ballot for a public vote. SPLOST, which finances capital projects in Georgia, is a main source of funding for the school district, and voted on by the public every five years.
“If the referendum is passed at that time, we will take the Comprehensive Master Plan — which will be produced and published in its final form by that November 2021 referendum — and then come back and work on development of a project list that will hopefully be funded by the SPLOST VI funding,” Maloof said.
Dunwoody Elementary School
Dunwoody Elementary School, located at 1923 Womack Road, received an early FCA score of 82.2. According to the report, this means the school is in “average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $552,573.
The school only has two Priority 1 concerns, which are repairing fire alarm actuators and replacing wall pack lighting. The only Priority 2 concern is curtain wall repair, or repairing the outer covering of the building.
Priority 3 issues include removing gutter debris and updating certain fixtures to be ADA compliant. Priority 4 includes replacing some doors and fixing lock hardware for others. The only Priority 5 issue is a small, damaged bench in the northwest corner of the parking lot that needs to be replaced.
Dunwoody Elementary School Upper Campus
Dunwoody Elementary School Upper Campus, which is located at 1663 East Nancy Creek Drive, received an early FCA score of 49.9. According to the report, this puts the school at a level in between “poor” and “very poor” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $2,937,570.
The school has four Priority 1 issues, including replacing fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and security alarms. There are three Priority 2 concerns, which are holes in the single-ply membrane roofing, ductwork replacement and replacing an HVAC box.
Priority 3 issues include replacing an asphalt driveway, installing an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramp, and replacing interior power wiring. Priority 4 includes replacing partitions between toilets in restrooms and roof cleaning, and Priority 5 includes general exterior cleaning all over the campus.
Dunwoody High School
Located at 5035 Vermack Road, Dunwoody High School received an early FCA score of 84.4. According to the report, this means the school facilities are in “average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $2,333,877.
There are four Priority 1 concerns, which include replacing emergency exit signs, fire alarms, and a missing security camera. The report also states that there is “evidence of structural deficiency” in the school’s facilities. Priority 2 includes fixing cracks in the sidewalks, replacing an electrical transformer, and replacing an AC system.
Priority 3 includes replacing lighting fixtures and adding restroom grab bars that are ADA compliant. Priority 4 includes removing abandoned equipment and replacing carpeting throughout the building. Priority 5 includes repainting interior walls.
Vanderlyn Elementary School
Located at 1877 Vanderlyn Drive, Vanderlyn Elementary School received an early FCA score of 73.0. According to the report, that means the school’s facilities are in “below average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $818,532.
There are two Priority 1 issues, which are replacing emergency exit signs and wall pack lighting. Priority 2 concerns include fixing cracked sidewalks, replacing a generator and replacing an electrical transformer.
Priority 3 includes replacing rusted playground equipment and fixing a toilet stall to meet ADA requirements. Priority 4 includes replacing ceiling tile and carpeting, and Priority 5 includes repainting some doors where current paint is peeling.
Austin Elementary School
Austin Elementary School, which is located at 5321 Roberts Drive, received an early FCA score of 99.9. According to the report, this means the school’s facilities are in “good” condition. The money needed to fix the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $45,588.
The school has no Priority 1 deficiencies. There are only two Priority 2 issues, which are fixing an existing cracked sidewalk and repairing elevator controls.
There is only one Priority 3 issue, which is drain repairs above an office. The two Priority 4 issues are installing permanent roof access and roof cleaning. The only Priority 5 concern is replacing wheel stops in parking spaces.
Peachtree Charter Middle School
Peachtree Charter Middle School, located at 4664 North Peachtree Road, received an early FCA score of 73.5. According to the report, that means the school’s facilities are “below average.” The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $416,732.
The school only has one Priority 1 issue, which is replacing emergency exit signs. There are no Priority 2 deficiencies.
Priority 3 includes roof drain cleaning, replacing flooring for athletic spaces and replacing some exterior lighting. Priority 4 includes replacing elevator finishes and carpet flooring. Priority 5 includes interior wall painting.