Fulton County school officials say they no longer are considering building a new Heards Ferry elementary on a controversial site in the south Riverside Drive area.

“Riverside is not viable anymore,” Patrick Burke, deputy superintendent of operations for Fulton schools, said on April 26.  “The Riverside property is off the list.”

Fulton plans to rebuild the school, now located next door to Riverwood International Charter High School, which also is slated for an overhaul. Locating both schools on the same property is a problem, Burke said. “It’s a challenge,” he said.

The new Heards Ferry school is scheduled to open in 2015, school officials said.

Neighbors to the Riverside site had complained they didn’t know where Fulton planned to put a new Heards Ferry elementary. Sandy Springs City Council on April 2 passed a resolution saying it wanted to talk to school officials about the project, too.

Burke said school officials continue to winnow a list of possible sites for a new Heards Ferry school. The list includes the school’s current location, he said, and school officials plan to discuss that site with city officials and neighbors.

An email distributed by Fulton school officials said “questions were raised in early 2013 about the potential of a school site being considered on the south end of Riverside Drive, inside I-285. However, after several months of significant due diligence being performed, the district is no longer considering a site in the south Riverside Drive area. The results from our due diligence, engineering studies, and analysis of timelines and budget led to the decision that this particular site was ultimately not viable for the replacement school.”

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.