The transfer of the old Bankhead Court housing project property from the city of Atlanta to Atlanta Public Schools as part of a deal on repayment of deferred taxes from the Atlanta BeltLine left many scratching their heads. Now it has been revealed that APS wants to build a “bus barn” on the site, and community response has been swift.

A petition to block the building of the school bus storage and maintenance facility on the property along Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway has already been created and Atlanta City Councilmembers Mary Norwood and Felicia Moore are actively working to have the facility moved elsewhere. The facility would house nearly 200 buses and other school vehicles and residents are concerned about traffic.

The Bankhead Court apartments were demolished in 2011 to make way for a mixed-use development that never materialized. Norwood said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) still has to approve the transfer of land from the city to APS.

Norwood told the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods at its Feb. 11 meeting that she had met with APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen about building a bus barn on another piece of property. “Dr. Carstarphen is willing to move the bus barn,” Norwood reported, “but there has to be a suitable property that is more efficient about getting the buses into the neighborhoods.”

Norwood said she didn’t believe that buses using I-285 and I-20 to get from the Bankhead property into the city would be any more efficient than the current bus barn facility on Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.