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APS Redistricting: Davis Comments on Springdale Park Expansion

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent says district is researching possible expansion

Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. discussed on Monday the possibility of expanding .

, Davis said the district is studying the traffic patterns in the area and the logistics of building an expansion at the school.

He said there was money in the budget to build a gym at the school and suggestions include building classrooms above or below the gym facilities.

“I’m not sure I want to go to school in a gym,” Davis said. “There are certain aspects of being too close to a gym that I think are not really amenable to a good education environment, and that’s also only one aspect whether we can build there.”

Other issues include space in the cafeteria for more students (see more comments in the video attached).

Springdale Park Elementary, which houses students from Virginia-Highland, Poncey-Highland, Midtown and Druid Hills, has 544 students enrolled this year. Enrollment is expected to peak at 756 students in about seven years.

The school was originally built for 450 students, but administrators increased the capacity to 550 students by adding more students to each class.

Early redistricting proposals included combining the Springdale Park and Hope Hill Elementary School communities into a primary learning model to address capacity issues to Springdale Park. One campus would house kindergarten-through-second-grade and the other campus would house third-through-fifth-grade classes.

Parents were unhappy with the primary learning center model and .

The split primary model was taken off the table in the second round of maps released by the third-party demographers in late January.

But capacity issues at the school are still a concern in the community and parents continue to advocate for an expansion.

See more comments from Davis .

How do you think an expansion at Springdale Park would affect traffic in the neighborhood? Tell us in the comments!

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Ken Edelstein February 13, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Creating a 5th and 6th grade academy at the Howard School near Freedom Parkway would solve the problem. It would mean a shorter commute during 5th grade for all the people in SPARK who don't live in near SPARK. Also it would solve Lin Elementary and Inman Middle school overcrowding. (Take 5th graders out of elementary and take 6th graders out of Inman. You end up with more room at both schools!)
intownmomma February 18, 2012 at 03:01 AM
A 5th/6th academy is a terrible idea. Only two of the feeder elementary schools are overcrowded. MES isn't overcrowded, and Hope is under-enrolled. Why take kids in those two schools out of their neighborhood, walkable schools just to provide a solution to overcrowding at other elementary schools. You exacerbate the under-enrollment problem at Hope-Hill and create a problem at MES where one doesn't currently exist. A better, more fiscally-conservative and environmentally-friendly solution would be to put a 6th grade academy into the existing Hope-Hill building. That would eliminate the need for a new school or an expensive renovation or at least delay the need until we actually have the funds to carry out such a project. It would also justify keeping Hill-Hope open and not merged with Cook. Alternatively, if Lin and SPARK can't get the relief they need through expansions, add their fifth grade classes to the Hill-Hope building. Just because a new midtown middle school is budgeted for in SPLOST doesn't mean those funds will be available anytime soon. You have to wait until the sales tax revenue comes in, and then I wouldn't assume that a new midtown middle school would be the top priority for those funds.

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