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New multifamily housing center for first responders planned in East Lake

COVID-19 Crime and public safety Kirkwood and East Lake Trending

New multifamily housing center for first responders planned in East Lake

Memorial Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue in East Lake. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — The East Lake Neighborhood Community Association (ELNCA) met via Zoom on Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. for their monthly meeting.

Below are the major highlights from the meeting:

New multifamily housing center

Patrick Husbands from City Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari’s office reported that there are plans to turn the property next to Fresenius Kidney Care (off Memorial Drive and Candler Road) into a multifamily housing center. The zoning is incomplete, but the center will exist to house East Lake first responders and their families, integrating them into the community with more affordable housing options.

Husbands said that the property was formerly owned by the East Lake Development Association, however, they were spending a large amount on taxes and up-keep. He added that the association wanted to sell the property while avoiding more million-dollar, single-family housing.

East Lake Patrol update

The ELNCA periodically informs its members about the work that the organization is doing to keep East Lake safe.

Karla Baldini, a community member of the association and one of the founding members of the East Lake Patrol (ELP), gave an update on the patrol.

Baldini reported that the ELP averages 40-80 hours per month, working several hours overnight to help supplement Atlanta Police efforts to keep East Lake safe. She added that they’ve focused on lowering crime at the two big business districts in East Lake – Candler/Memorial and Glenwood/Fayetteville – as well as patrol the park on the weekends to maintain safety.

In addition, Baldini highlighted the option to submit a vacation patrol request online. With a request, someone from the ELP will check on your property each day to make sure everything is secure.

Lastly, the ELP is recruiting new board members. Those interested should reach out to Vijay Makar via email: [email protected].

South DeKalb COVID-19 vaccination campaign

The DeKalb County Board of Health is recruiting organizations to serve as community partners in a South DeKalb COVID-19 vaccination campaign. ELNCA President Kristine Lucas brought this agenda item forward, asking for members to reach out and make East Lake a community partner in the county’s efforts.

Community partners will serve from March 25 to June 15 and be responsible for:

– Disseminating educational materials

– Educating the community about the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations

– Informing the community of COVID-19 vaccination sites and mobile clinics

– Participating in events

Those interested in joining the campaign should reach out via email to [email protected] by Wednesday, March 23.

The good and bad for Toomer Elementary

Let’s start with the good.

Toomer Elementary is now authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School. After several years of working toward this achievement, Toomer Elementary students are eligible to matriculate through a cluster of IB World Schools. Learn more here: https://www.ibo.org/.

In other news, $7 million in ESPLOST funding was pulled from Toomer Elementary due to enrollment projections. This was also a topic of concern in the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization meeting held on March 10, 2022.

Several ELNCA members urged that East Lake form an education committee, with an immediate goal to push Atlanta Public Schools for an expansion, not just renovation at Toomer. A few members of the ELNCA said they’ve already talked with Taylor Cross, chair of the Education Committee for Kirkwood Neighbors Organization, about working together.

More school news, with Drew Carter’s achievement

Drew Charter School Senior Academy was recently awarded a STEAM Certification, joining the elementary school.

Lucas, the ELNCA president, reported that this achievement makes Drew Charter School the first in the state of Georgia to be fully certified for STEAM as well as the only school in the state that offers STEAM for grades K-12.

A few upcoming events in East Lake

East View Cemetery Work Day – This event was postponed due to weather. It was rescheduled from last Saturday, March 12 to this Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ELNCA members urged participation because the cemetery is a popular spot for East Lake community events.

East Lake Park Clean Up Day – On April 2, community members are invited to East Lake Park to clean up and beautify the area. There will be a dumpster and tools on site.

Easter Egg Hunt – On Saturday, April 16, there will be an Easter Egg hunt for children and families at the East View Cemetery from 10 a.m. to noon. Come ready to search for eggs, complete a craft, and eat at food trucks on site.

Wind Down Wednesdays – This bimonthly East Lake event is back. On May 4 and May 18, come enjoy live music in East Lake Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Event goers are encouraged to bring a blanket, food, and chairs.

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