Controversy in Dunwoody – A New Austin Elementary….Dunwoody Senior Ball fields

I’m an adult so I know that there are at least “two sides to every story”.   I also realize that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”.  

I’ve started getting lengthy emails this week from folks in our community with strong opinions about this subject.  My goal is to give people a forum to speak out about their opinion(s).  

Have an opinion about this subject?   Leave a comment.  Be nice….

2 thoughts on “Controversy in Dunwoody – A New Austin Elementary….Dunwoody Senior Ball fields

  1. Serving 13- to 18-year olds in Dunwoody & surrounding communities.
    Join the Friends of Dunwoody Parks
    Youth Sports in Dunwoody Need Your Voice!
    There is a proposal to rebuild Austin Elementary in Dunwoody Park and move the ball fields to Peachtree Charter Middle School. Rebuilding Austin is a good thing, but not in Dunwoody Park
    We Oppose This – Here’s Why
    • This proposal removes 2 fields from Peachtree Middle Charter School that were slated for joint use by the School and the City.
    • This proposal destroys 2 beautiful fields that have been at Dunwoody Park for 41 years.
    • Building a school in Dunwoody Park will forever surrender 30% of the park and change the fundamental character of the park.
    • It will cost taxpayers $3 million to move the fields.
    • The new location for baseball fields will conflict with school carpool and other activities as well as weekend activities at Brook Run. DSB will be forced to curtail its baseball program.
    • At a time when we should be adding more multi-purpose sports fields for soccer, lacrosse and other sports, this plan reduces space for our children.
    • Dunwoody merchants will lose business from families who now participate in events at Dunwoody Park. Over 700 people watch baseball at Dunwoody Park each weekend.
    What Can You Do?
    • Add your voice by joining Friends of Dunwoody Parks. Be kept up-to-date with the latest news and information regarding this proposal.
    • Write to your City Council Member and the Mayor to let them know how you feel. You can find all of theiremail addresses and more on the Friends of Dunwoody Parks web site.
    • Even if you are not a resident of Dunwoody, you can add your voice. Either way, share this with your family and friends.
    Nothing is final yet. Your voice matters.
    Stay Informed.
    Join the Friends of Dunwoody Parks.
    Jerry Weiner, President
    John Crawford, Executive VP & Treasurer
    Vince Carozza, Vice President
    Jimmy Wood, Vice President
    Danny Rueckel, Board Member
    Mark Julian,, Board Member
    Howie Rosenberg, Board Member
    Dave Kristan, Board Member

  2. Audra,
    I sent below emails to Dick yesterday in reference to article that he wrote in Crier ( In summary, the county’s intent to spend $20 million for a new Austin is a waste of funds. The city voted against this and Austin district voted most against this. There is only so much money available for schools and we need to secure projects that are more important than knocking down an ES that is not that bad. The HS lacks an art wing and adequate fields and is overcrowded, the MS is overcrowded and fields are a mess, fields at Chesnut and Kingsley are a mess with the Kingsley field probably comdemnable if a third part from state visited it. I have spoken at 3 council meetings, spoken to county, written many emails to Fran/Tom and Dekalb Superintendent. Fran

    Loved the article today regarding Austin. Just wanted to point out that Austin was not approved by voters in Dunwoody.
    The article could have said that Austin was approved in past SPLOST as of many projects for the county and that, although the county approved SPLOST, Dunwoody rejected SPLOST with the highest rejection having taken place in Austin voting district where vote is held at North Atlanta Church. Thus, in effect, Austin community said “No” to a new Austin and the entire city said “No” to a new Austin. No one representing Austin nor the community ever requested a new Austin and Austin is built in 70’s versus other local schools in the city and in the county were build in the 60’s with the potential to not be upgraded in next 5 years resulting in these schools being 60 years old by end of next SPLOST in 2021 (Chesnut, Kingsley, some ES’s in Cross Keys district, Cross Keys HS, Nancy Creek ES, etc). East Cobb doesn’t build new ES’s- they expand/renovate them. I can meet or talk with you on thoughts on this but wanted to pass info to you in hopes that you include this in your newsletter as it is widely read.

    Another email on Austin: the city council can simply request/strong arm/persuade/cajole the county to leave Austin alone. The city rejected a new school and have the money spent elsewhere such in Cross Keys cluster which needs it or on other Dunwoody projects that we need such as fix HS and MS fields and Kingsley and Chesnut ES fields ($3.5MM cost estimate), add a music wing at HS (Lakeside and other HS’s have this and costs $2MM), expand HS due to overcrowding (5 trailers were added in rear near track last summer), expand MS due to overcrowding (4 new trailers are being added currently, 4 trailers were added last summer, and 4 trailers were added a few summers prior).
    City council doesn’t comprehend how to negotiate the above and doesn’t get that it is our money that pays for schools, our kids who attend the schools, our home values affected by schools, city taxes affected by schools and their success. I have spoken 3 times to city council on this and to some members when I see them around town but they just don’t understand it. They think that the county controls schools and that’s the way it is. Terry actually fought for accreditation on his own and sort of gets fighting against the county by putting pressure on them. Others seem to not care, lack imagination/creativity, and seem to not know or care to fight the fight.

    Regarding Austin:
    East Cobb school district is considered superb. Their ES’s are all old – they do not knock down their ES’s and spend $20MM on new ES’s. Examples are: Sope Creek ES (old and expanded and sits in a high net worth district who doesn’t demand a $20MM school), Rocky Mount ES, Mountain View ES (expanded), Murdock ES, Tritt ES. All these schools have different architecture but Cobb County is not trying to waste funding on knock downs.
    Instead, they use funds on excellent HS’s: Lassiter (theatre building, stadium, excellent fields), Sprayberry (sound bldg, excellent fields, theatre), Wheeler (new, excellent fields and building). No one in East Cobb complains about this strategy.

    I wrote to Dekalb Supt and building chief 3 to 5 times on the above and how Dunwoody would prefer to use funds for projects listed in prior email to you. They said they are legally obligated to do Austin and I said that they can offer to pay for a new vote for Dunwoody asking us if we are ok with funds used on other items in Dunwoody – we would overwhelmingly vote yes.

    I spoke with Fran on this and asked him to add a rider to education bill that allows counties the flexibility to re-allocate approved projects as long as they hold a vote in the affected area and voters approve. Fran said that the county can move projects around with a need for vote. Page Olson said this also when I ran into her and she is very knowledgeable on school matters/procedures.
    The above info should be included in story by you in Crier.

    Another think to keep in mind is that the county is operating with $56MM extra funding each year due to charging 23 mils for taxes which is more than the 20 mils allowed by state. Perimeter College is no longer operated by the county so the extra millage is not needed. These funds have not been put to good use by the county. Fran should simply withold these funds (by pushing for 20 mils tax immediately) and, as part of horse-trading, require county to drop Austin rebuild.
    Another thing: I have spoken at council meetings but the papers do not list names of citizens who have spoken at meetings and what they talked about. This is hidden from city so citizens can come away with sense that no one gets up and talks at the meetings and in essence, shields the citizens ideas from the community.

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