BoE eyes $3.5 million bus barn, sale of 2 empty schools

Let’s sell the abandoned Brooks and Tyrone elementary school properties and build a $3.5 million bus barn next to Whitewater High School.

That’s part of the recommendation presented to the Fayette County Board of Education on April 14. Board members heard recommendations for various school system facilities for the 2014-2015 school year and will vote on the recommendations at a later meeting.

Facilities Director Mike Satterfield prior to listing the recommendations noted that enrollment systemwide is at 80 percent since the closure last year of several schools. But the decline in enrollment appears to be leveling off, Satterfield said, adding that the addition of Pinewood Atlanta Studios is helping create a positive atmosphere for developers. His comment came after the school system last month projected a potential decrease of 481 students next school year.

Satterfield recommended that the former elementary schools in Tyrone and Brooks be offered for sale and that the former Fayetteville Intermediate School and Fayette Middle School properties be kept in inventory.

Another recommendation, one that has surfaced in recent months, is to build the bus barn and transportation office on the Goza Road complex.

Satterfield in a January report said the new facility would accommodate all 258 system-owned buses. The new building would essentially match the existing warehouse building, said Satterfield.

By way of comparison, Satterfield in January said the current bus shop has 12 bays and is 162 feet in length and 100 feet wide. The proposed bus shop would have 16 bays and would be 216 in length and 110 feet in width.

In his January report, Satterfield said the general estimated project cost totaled approximately $3.5 million, though that cost could deviate by several hundred thousand dollars. The cost of the building itself might run $2.2 million with the remainder used for site work. The cost of that work, for example, would depend on whether a portion of the site is paved rather than using the current gravel bed. If approved, said Satterfield, the project could potentially be completed by the summer of 2015.

Satterfield this week also recommended adjusting attendance lines to decrease enrollment at Fayetteville Elementary School by 100 students and adjusting attendance lines to increase enrollment at Spring Hill Elementary School by 100 students.

Additional recommendations dealt with vacant property owned by the school system.

Satterfield suggested keeping the 60 acres along Ga. Highway 54 in inventory for use as a future facility development. The property was part of the 1,200 acres annexed into Fayetteville in September and is near the ongoing Pinewood Atlanta Studios development.

The school system also owns 100 acres on Inman Road next to Inman Elementary School. Satterfield recommended that the school board seek to have the property rezoned to conservation zoning for future sale.

Proposed projects for the summer dealt mainly with painting, replacing HVAC units, replacing windows and storm piping.

Other projects included the construction of a field house at J.C. Booth Middle School and another on the campus of Rising Starr Middle School and Starr’s Mill High School.