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Decatur School Board: Enrollment assistant, construction costs agenda


Decatur School Board: Enrollment assistant, construction costs agenda

The front steps of Decatur High School. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
The front steps of Decatur High School. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The front steps of Decatur High School. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The Decatur School Board will consider a change order that will increase the cost of renovations to the high school and will also consider hiring an employee to handle questions about the residency of students.

The School Board holds its regular meeting on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at CSD’s Central Office, located at 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030.

The School Board has also called a special meeting on Oct. 19 to consider approving a contract for the sole finalist in its superintendent search, David Dude, the current chief operating officer of the Iowa City Community School District. That meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m.

During the Oct. 13 meeting, board members will consider approving a change order for the current renovations of Decatur High School. The original project budget was $12.5 million, but changes to the project are increasing the total budget by $281,700, according to documents attached to a recent work session agenda.

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“These updates are driven primarily by two factors,” Chief Operating Officer Noel Maloof wrote in a memo to the School Board. “First, we had to address unsuitable soil conditions at the upper parking lot construction site. Not long after the start of construction, these unforeseen soil conditions were encountered. These soil conditions were between 3 and 5 feet of topsoil that had to be removed as it is was not suitable soil for use as a base for a Parking Lot. This additional cost was $113, 784.00. Second, after review of the Life Safety Egress requirements of the existing Main Building, design modifications to the Phase 1 Addition were necessary to achieve approval of the City of Decatur Fire Marshall and permitting department.”

Maloof told the School Board during a recent work session that he wouldn’t be requesting the change order unless it was absolutely necessary to complete the project.

“I have been the biggest skeptic,” he said. “These are all things worthy of me standing in front of you and asking for more money.”

Maloof is also requesting the School Board create a position for a Residency Enrollment Assistant.

The enrollment assistant’s salary range would be $30,000 to $40,000. Current enrollment in City Schools of Decatur is 4,667 students, about 98 percent of the projected enrollment. The school system is projecting 6,527 students by 2020, and is asking voters to vote “yes” on Nov. 3 to allow CSD to borrow $75 million for school construction.

As the student population has increased, so too have questions about whether some students are legitimately enrolled in CSD.

“During the spring and summer, staff is extremely busy on a full time basis, processing new enrollment. In addition, we are finding the school referrals and tips of possible concerns are on the rise,” the board agenda says. “The increase in student enrollment over the last eight years seems to be outstripping our current staff and (ability to) proceed with the proper investigation when residency is called into question.”

All School Board meetings are open to the public. To see the current agenda, click here.