The DeKalb Board of Education voted unanimously Oct. 3 to approve spending $3.6 million to purchase land from the city of Dunwoody as part of a land swap for the construction of a new Austin Elementary School.

The school board voted to approve a letter of intent and intergovernmental agreement with the city to swap the county-owned property where Austin Elementary School sits for the city-owned property in Dunwoody Park where the Dunwoody Senior Baseball League fields are located. The school district will build a new Austin Elementary School where the baseball fields are located.

The Dunwoody City Council is expected to vote on the letter of intent and IGA at a special called meeting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at City Hall.

Site plans for new Dunwoody baseball fields at Peachtree Middle School. Click to enlarge. (DeKalb BOE)

Should the agreement for the land swap be formally approved by the city and county in the coming weeks or months, the DeKalb BOE will pay $3,632,000 to the city. The last day to formalize the land swap is Jan. 20, 2017, according to the IGA approved by the board of education.

The agreements for both entities must be formalized with a public vote.

The letter of intent agreement is part of the process leading to the future formal and public vote on whether the city will swap the Dunwoody Park property where the baseball fields are located and to be the site of the new Austin Elementary School in exchange for county-owned property at Peachtree Middle School where the city would build new baseball fields.

The IGA also calls for the city to make capital improvements to the football field and track area at PCMS and in exchange the city will have access to the fields when not in use by the school district.

Dunwoody Senior Baseball President Jerry Weiner strongly opposes moving the league to PCMS, saying, among other things, traffic and parking would hamper the program.

Agreements currently outlined in the IGA include:

After the closing of the land swap, the DeKalb Board of Education will maintain and lease the current property of Austin Elementary School from the city for $63,100 a month until the new elementary school is built.

Site plan for new Austin Elementary. Click to enlarge. (DeKalb BOE)

Assuming the city builds new baseball fields at Peachtree Middle School by Sept. 1, 2017, the school district will vacate the current Austin Elementary School property by Aug. 31, 2019, without any penalty.

The city and county will share PCMS fields and parking for 25 years. The city will be responsible for capital improvements to the football field and track area including sod installation and an irrigation system by Sept. 30, 2018, and the installation of new football goal posts and a field house by Dec. 31, 2019.

The city will also pay for and repair the storm water system under the football field and track area by Dec. 31, 2018, and pay for and maintain the storm water system and cover costs to irrigate the track area and football field.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.

5 replies on “DeKalb Board of Education agrees to pay $3.6m to Dunwoody in Austin Elementary land swap”

  1. I am correctly reading this story to mean that the City of Dunwoody is acquiring the current land that Austin Elementary sits on, along with the field space at PCMS and $3.6 million?

      1. According to the IGA signed by the DeKalb BOE, the city gets the property Austin Elem currently sits, plus $3.6 million, in exchange for swapping the land the baseball fields are on with DeKalb BOE to build the new school. The city will also get partial use of the PCMS fields and will also construct new baseball fields.But this is not the final vote.

          1. Michael, old Austin will soon be owned by City but will remain a school for the next several years, then when finally moved to new Austin; the city will most likely clear the site and create a new park for that corner of community. Citizen input needed on what best would go there in three plus years.

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