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Early Childhood Learning, 4/5 Academy discussed as uses for East Lake property

Decatur

Early Childhood Learning, 4/5 Academy discussed as uses for East Lake property

The Decatur School Board meeting on Nov. 10, 2015. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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The Decatur School Board meeting on Nov. 10, 2015. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The Decatur School Board meeting on Nov. 10, 2015. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

While a proposed lease for Atlanta’s East Lake Elementary was pulled from the Decatur School Board’s December agenda, City Schools of Decatur hasn’t given up on the idea.

Superintendent David Dude told Decaturish the School Board isn’t up against a hard, fast deadline to approve the lease, but it needs to be approved relatively soon.

“It can’t go too much longer, because we need to have the building ready for kids in the Fall,” Dude said. “We’re still comfortable at this point. If it got into April, that’s probably too far for us.”

CSD is also now discussing possible uses for East Lake, which has been vacant since 2012.

“One idea was to use it as an early childhood learning center, so we could move the program at College Heights there and free up some space,” Dude said. “Another idea since 4/5 Academy (is nearby) is to move an entire grade of the 4/5 there.”

He added that there’s no guarantee CSD will execute a lease with Atlanta Public Schools for the East Lake property. Another possibility that’s been discussed to alleviate crowding is the addition of portable classrooms. Chief Operating Officer Noel Maloof says if CSD were to buy 24 portables to house students, it would cost $2.7 million for the first year. Total costs for the second year would be $288,000.

“We’re still exploring other options,” Dude said.

The terms of the proposed East Lake lease would be much cheaper. Under the terms of the lease, CSD would begin renting the building in June and the lease would expire in 2019. CSD would pay $6,614 a month in rent, plus other expenses. Maloof recently told the School Board the total costs for year one of the lease will be $220,000. Year two expenses would be $170,000.

Dude said he had hoped to have a revised lease for the School Board’s consideration at its Jan. 12 meeting. Now, it’s more likely the board will have something to consider in February.

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