St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven is planning to purchase roughly seven acres of land for new athletic fields.
Derek Porter, chair of the St. Martin’s Episcopal School Board of Trustees, sent a letter on May 4 announcing that the school is under contract to purchase a 7.2-acre tract of land on Osborne Road, near the Windsor Parkway intersection and less than a mile away from the school’s main campus.
“Historically known as Morrison Farms, the property will provide us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build out future athletic facilities within walking distance from the Ashford Dunwoody campus,” Porter said in the letter.
According to the letter, the Board of Trustees started looking for a possible space for the school’s athletic fields about five years ago, and initially purchased a 7.5-acre property along Buford Highway. In the letter, Porter said he believes the school should be able to sell the Doraville property “at a valuation where we can acquire the Morrison Farms land without additional financial impact on the school.”
In an interview with Reporter Newspapers, Porter said the athletic fields have been a part of the school’s vision for over a decade. He said the fact that the property is situated between the main campus and the school’s High Point campus is a “dream scenario.”
“It’s been something that we’ve always wanted to expand,” he said. “We have a small field located on the main [Ashford-Dunwoody Road] campus, but that campus is very land-locked … so it’s been a constant struggle within our athletics department to arrange for fieldspace through the local parks and so forth.”
Porter said the current plan is to build a single athletic field and a multi-purpose gym on the property. The school will have to go through the rezoning process with the city to move forward.
A neighbor in the area said upon learning about the plans, he had concerns about the level of traffic and disturbance athletic fields might bring to the neighborhood.
“[Traffic] is my biggest concern,” said Gary Cook, who has been in the area since 1986 and lives a few blocks away from the property on Osborne Road. “There are a couple of other ones … There will be a lot of noise. There will be trash.”
Porter said neighbors should not expect a ton of activity around the athletics fields in terms of large sporting events with multiple spectators, and a lot of what would take place on the fields will be practices. A spokesperson for St. Martin’s said they will not be building lights at the facility.
“This is elementary/middle school level,” Porter said. “It’s not like we’re building a high school facility that’s going to be hosting large events.”
Correction: a previous version of this article mentioned lights, but St. Martin’s has clarified that they will not be building lights.