What is the significance of new construction for Chamblee High?

Posted by Ronald | April 18, 2012  |  No Comment

In this economy, there appears to be a collapse in home ownership, employment, and education. Budget cuts are commonplace throughout the nation in every industry and more prevalent in our U.S. public schools. Even with the economic situation, parents have the right to allow their children an opportunity to attend schools in or outside their communities. These schools, however, must offer students a quality education and parents will be the first to contest if they are not doing so.

With the rise in school closings throughout U.S. communities, this column focuses on DeKalb County School District (DCSD) in Stone Mountain, Ga. Specifically, the question to be asked is: What is the significance of new construction for Chamblee Charter High School?

Chamblee Charter High School was established in 1917 and is the second oldest high school in Dekalb County. Chamblee Charter is a magnet school that accepts students from all areas of DeKalb County and offers a rigorous curriculum and a wide range of co & extra-curricular activities. It has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, achieved adequate yearly progress of the No Child Left Behind Act and ranked as one of Newsweek’s best public high schools in the nation based on the number of students who take advanced placement courses.

Due to the school building conditions, Chamblee Charter High School is undergoing significant renovations. The school project will be completed in two phases: Phase I will include the demolition of a portion of the existing school building and the adjacent Highland Garden Apartments. Students will transition into the newly constructed academic building when they return from winter break of the School Year 2013-2014. Phase II will commence with the construction of the fine arts wing, auditorium, natatorium and gymnasium by the beginning of the School Year 2014-2015.

At an April 16th ground breaking ceremony, leaders such as DeKalb County Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, School Board Chairman Dr. Eugene Walker and Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson were on hand to talk about the significance and share their excitement about the building project.

In a charismatic matter, Superintendent Atkinson expressed how urgent it was to start the project. Atkinson said that one parent spoke of taking down the building herself. From this reason, Atkinson indicated she knew it was time to get busy on rebuilding or joining the parent in taking down the building, so to speak.

School Board Chairman Walker was proud that the school board kept its promise to build a state of the arts facility and expressed gratitude to the citizens of DeKalb and other stakeholders of the school and community for their commitment to the project. Mayor Clarkson credited the school building project to the collaborative efforts of DCSD and the City of Chamblee. To add to the ground breaking jubilation, the ceremony was greeted by the remarkable performances of the student color guard and marching band of Chamblee Charter High School. They displayed superior class and disposition at the ceremony.

When buildings are outdated, school districts should renovate or expand them in order to remain abreast with the changing times and, ultimately, reserve a school legacy and a community. We congratulate the leadership and community of DeKalb for setting the standard for others to follow.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of the book, Education Questions to be Answered. He is the President of The Holmes Education Post, an education focused internet newspaper. Holmes is the National Superintendent of Education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator, and district superintendent and can be reached at the following web address: [email protected]


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