CSD considers including Early Childhood Learning Center in MARTA redevelopment

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 6, 2015
This image comes from the profile of the Avondale MARTA station on the Itsmarta.com website. It shows the area that will be turned into a transit oriented development.

This image comes from the profile of the Avondale MARTA station on the Itsmarta.com website. It shows the area that will be turned into a transit oriented development.

A proposal being studied by the City Schools of Decatur would move the system’s Early Childhood Learning Center into a mixed-use project slated for the Avondale MARTA station.

At its Aug. 11 meeting, School Board members will be asked to approve spending $125,000 to $150,000 for architectural drawings so, “CSD … might be included in the funding which (developer) Columbia Ventures LLC is seeking to get the project started.”

According to the board meeting agenda, “(Superintendent Phyllis Edwards) and the School Board, have been exploring options related to the possible need for an early childhood center should College Heights be needed as an elementary school in the future. Columbia Ventures LLC (the developer) has a planned mixed use project at Sams Street and East College Avenue.”


During the Aug. 11 meeting, board members will hear a presentation about “the proposed project and see where the proposed building will sit on that property.”

Like the city’s pending land purchases, the project is contingent upon a $75 million bond referendum passing in November. The school board is currently under contract for about six acres along Talley Street. During the Aug. 11 meeting, Chairman Garret Goebel is expected to give an update about the school system’s planned property purchases, according to the agenda.

CSD will also have to pay off the money it borrowed to develop the Early Childhood Learning Center at its current site on South McDonough Street. If the Early Childhood Learning Center is moved, the current site will likely be re-purposed as an elementary school.

“The loan to the fund that developed the building as an ECLC would need to be paid off before it can be repurposed into an elementary school,” the agenda says. ” …. The entire process would take three to four years.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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  • Chris A

    Is this in addition to the land that CSD has under contract in that area?

    • Good question. Talley Street is not mentioned in conjunction with this. It was my understanding Talley is being considered for a K-3. Hopefully the board will clarify

      • Alex

        I’m confused… if the Marta development land is for an ECLC so that College Heights can become an elementary school, then would Talley also be ANOTHER elementary school? I would imagine this plan is either one or the other, not both. Unless in the end we get one new elementary on Talley and one new ECLC with College Heights staying as is.

        Maybe all we need is a Decatur east side Revolution Donuts and call it a day. 🙂

    • Andrew

      Yes. This would be building out as a component of a planned development surrounding the Marta station at East College and Sams Street. The land under contract is to be redeveloped as a school and is at Tally and Columbia.

  • Meghan Ramsey

    Talley is being considered as a K-3 and 4-5 combo. One thing to note is that CSD is not required to host a state-sponsored pre-K. For example, Gwinnett Schools doesn’t. And the ECLC is really a daycare. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s a great concept – but it’s not subject to the same governing bodies as the rest of the school system. (Dept of Ed vs DECAL, etc)

  • cps

    We don’t need another elementary school in the Winnona Park area. What streets would the new school draw from? It seems like another K-3 is most needed right now in Oakhurst. Swapping the Early Childhood Learning Center for a K-3 sounds like the right idea.

  • An American Patriot

    Naw, what we really need is some good planning by the CSD. All I’ve seen in the last several years is a lot of indecision, or to put it another way, extremely poor decision making. Folks, this is your tax money being wasted. I, for one will not be voting “yes” for the $75M referendum unless and until the CSD gets it’s act together. We cannot afford any more bad decisions, I. E., the DeVry debacle.

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