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DeKalb County (Ga.) board approves plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading school facilities

Feb. 2, 2023
Major construction projects planned include a middle and high school campus, and a middle school and an elementary school.

The DeKalb County (Ga.) school board has approved a plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years to construct and repair schools.

WXIA-TV reports that the facilities plan earmarks $352 million for major construction: a new Sequoyah High School and Middle School ($17 million); a new Dresden Elementary ($42 million); a new Cross Keys Middle ($90 million); and a modernization of Druid Hills High ($50 million).

The substandard conditions at Druid Hills made headlines last year when, after the board decided not to allocate money to improve campus conditions, students produced a video showing alleged mold, plumbing, electrical, and flooding issues inside the school. In the ensuing controversy over Druid Hills, the board fired Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris, and state officials intervened to direct DeKalb County to modernize the high school or risk losing state funds.

Overall, the district’s capital improvement and ESPLOST VI plan makes $700 million in sales tax funding available for school improvements.

Other improvements set out in the plan include $80 million for security upgrades, including new cameras and vestibules, $69 million for additional facility condition projects at various schools, and $129 million for updated equipment, which includes new buses and vehicle upgrades.

Officials said the plan as a whole will take several years to execute. Over the next three to four months, they will begin soliciting architects to design the new schools.

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