The old Howard High School campus in the Old Fourth Ward.
The old Howard High School campus in the Old Fourth Ward.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is seeking up to $546 million from a proposed Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) renewal, a referendum that will be on the ballot during the General Primary Election on May 24.

The collected tax would be used to renovate school buildings, provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for students, demolish dilapidated structures, relieve overcrowding in some schools, improve the district’s IT infrastructure, update its school bus fleet and school security upgrades.

If renewed, the district plans major construction and renovation projects in seven of nine clusters. Additionally, APS has aligned the E-SPLOST budget to support academic program priorities and transformation of the district that include:

· $23.5 million for Connally/Venetian Hills Elementary School
· $18.5 million for Grove Park/Woodson Elementary School
· Approximately $10 million is allocated for renovations of the Kennedy Building, which will house a new pre-K-8 STEM academy.
· About $16.5 million for major renovations at Gideons Elementary School

Other school renovations include the Grady Cluster: Morningside Elementary School ($20 million), Grady High School ($33 million) and the renovation of the old Howard High School building into a new middle school ($47 million).

“To create a true transformation of education in Atlanta, we must do the same for the physical infrastructure of APS with better and safer learning and working facilities for our students and educators,” APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen said. “But this is more than updating and maintaining buildings. This is about reinvesting in our kids and ensuring they study in environments conducive to learning and achievement.”


Collin Kelley

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.