The mayor of Dunwoody shared safety concerns about a new elementary school planned for Chamblee Dunwoody Road during a Nov. 15 DeKalb County School Board meeting. 

During the meeting, the school district approved a $31,050,000 contract with Evergreen Construction for the construction of the new Chamblee Dunwoody Elementary School at 4680 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. In the public comment section of the meeting, Mayor Lynn Deutsch raised concerns regarding size, roadway alignment, and overcrowding issues for the new school. 

“If this was a private project, the developer would not be able to secure building permits from Dunwoody and would be told not to come back until the plans were modified to address safety issues,” the mayor said later in a Facebook post. 

The property used to be the site of Shallowford Elementary, which was constructed in 1968. The school later became Chamblee Middle School, but by 2011 the building had “deteriorated beyond economical repair,” according to the district. The building was demolished in 2014.

In her public comment, Deutsch said she believes the property area for the future school is a “small, unforgiving site,” and not large enough to accommodate the 950 students it would serve. She also said the site only has one driveway, which does not line up with the road across the street. 

“Keep in mind that this school will only have one driveway for entering and exiting,” Deutsch said. “It’s located on a very busy street and emergency vehicles could struggle to enter the property, depending on how busy things are in the parking lot.” 

Deutsch offered some solutions to the safety problems she identified, including shrinking the enrollment of the school so that a smaller building would be suitable, or adding a floor to the school so the enrollment could stay the same. 

The school district said construction on the school is expected to begin in January of 2022, and the school should open in August of 2023. The district did not respond to questions about Deutch’s comments. 

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.