The Atlanta Board of Education is contemplating renovations and new construction of primary centers to serve kindergarten and first-grade students living in the Brandon, Jackson and Smith school zones as well as some redistricting for Jackson and Brandon students to address overcrowding.

Currently two facilities serve as primary centers for Smith and Jackson. Under the proposal, the Jackson Primary Center at Tuxedo, 4191 Northside Dr., would get a $900,000 addition to transition into a permanent location. Completion is anticipated by the beginning of the 2009-10 school year.

Since the lease for space at the Buckhead Baptist Church, 4100 Roswell Rd., which serves as the Smith Primary Center, is up in June 2009 the proposal calls for acquiring a new site and building a new $16 million center. Currently the board is in negotiations for the property at 4141 Wieuca Rd.

The new site would be ready during the 2009-10 school year. Should the need arise, that facility would be built with a planning capacity to accommodate a new K-5 school.

As for Brandon, the primary center is proposed to move into the Margaret Mitchell Elementary School site, 2845 Margaret Mitchell Dr. after $5 million of renovations have been made. This center would also be built to support a K-5 school and would be complete by the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. North Metro program students currently using this facility would be relocated to Peterson Elementary starting in the 2008-09 academic year.

Creation of these permanent primary centers would multiply each school’s planning capacity exponentially.

Enrollment at Brandon is currently 772 students, while the planning capacity is 630. The addition of the new center at Mitchell would increase the capacity to 972. Based on an assumption of 10 percent growth over the next several years, Brandon may have as many as 850 students by 2015.

At Jackson, current enrollment is 841 (550 at the main campus, 320 at the primary center) and the building planning capacity is 612. By improving the Tuxedo site, the building planning capacity would increase to 954 students between the two ‘home’ sites. Jackson is projected to have 926 students by 2015 based on the same enrollment projections as Brandon.

Student enrollment at Smith is 842 students (695 at the main campus, 147 at the primary center) with a planning capacity of 540. Creation of a new facility in the Smith district would ease the burden of re-leasing a space and provide a permanent structure, with a building planning capacity of 500.’

Rounding out the plan is a proposal to move some students between Jackson and Brandon to keep planning capacities under control across the board. Approximately 235 students would have to make the transition from Jackson to Brandon and vice versa for about 170 students currently attending Brandon should this plan meet board approval.

Jackson students who live west of I-75 and south or east of Nancy Creek to Collier Road would head to Brandon in 2009-10. Brandon students living on Northside Parkway to the south and west of the school boundary as well as those living on Arden and West Paces Ferry as the east and north boundaries respectively would transfer to Jackson in 2009-10.