...Kat Lindholm, President, East Lake Neighbors Community Association
Why Coan Middle School is important.
Geographically speaking, East Lake is the easternmost community in the collection of neighborhoods that comprise what is the city of Atlanta.
But in the current redistricting debate engulfing Atlanta Public Schools, East Lakers feel their community is a metaphorical golf ball, being whacked here and there much like the ones hit by golfers in the East Lake Golf Club.
Seven plans have been presented as possible options to the 47,000-student-district's goal of reducing the number of excess seats.
But with a total capacity of 60,000 seats, APS has too much excess.
The most recent plan, released last week by APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr., reduces excess by 7,200 seats through closing 13 schools for a projected cost savings of $6.5 million.
Coan, which has 307 students, but capacity for 900, would be converted to an annex for the overflow of students from Inman Middle School in Virginia-Highland. Coan's kids would go to King Middle in Grant Park.
What's more, East Lake would be rezoned at the high school level out of Grady High in Midtown and into Jackson High in Grant Park.
All unacceptable say East Lake parents who were rezoned to Grady after losing Crim High School in 2005.
It explains why East Lake, along with its sister neighborhoods, Kirkwood and Edgewood, rallied Saturday at Coan to keep the school open for the neighborhoods zoned to attend it and stay in the Grady cluster of schools.
After the rally, East Lake residents met to discuss next steps and develop a plan of action. East Atlanta Patch met with Kat Lindholm, president of the East Lake Neighbors Community Association after the meeting.