DORAVILLE, Ga. -- DeKalb County school officials are working to allay fears in the community after announcing that the construction of a new school will mean the closure of an existing 104-unit apartment complex.
The announcement came in the form of an $8.2 million purchase and sales agreement approved by the DeKalb County Board fo Education. The agreement allows the district to purchase a 9.7-acre property at 3630 Shallowford Road in Doraville - the location of Shallowford Gardens Apartments.
District officials expect the location to be the home of a future elementary school, tentatively named Cross Keys North, with construction expected to begin in 2018. The hope is that the new 900-seat school will help eliminate overcrowding at Dresden Elementary and Cary Reynolds Elementary schools - both of which are relying on portable units outside their main buildings to handle the additional students.
But before that, residents in the apartment complex will need to find somewhere else to live. However, school officials did point out that residents wouldn't be forced out of their homes before their lease ends. But they are working to entice residents to do so.
"We are excited to add a state-of-the-art elementary school that will get our students out of portable units and into permanent classrooms, which is always our aim," said Superintendent R. Stephen Green. "At the same time, we are mindful of the impact this work will have on families, many of whom have children enrolled in our schools. We plan to be good neighbors through this delicate process."
One of the ways the school system is working to help displaced residents: money.
"Monetary incentives will be offered jointly by the apartment complex owners and DCSD to help residents relocate by the end of August," the district said in a media release. "The current owners of the complex and DCSD representatives are meeting with tenants to help them understand the process."