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What Should Go Here?: East Lake Elementary School

Among Atlanta Public Schools' institutions set for closure, how should it be repurposed?

By some accounts, it was a given that East Lake Elementary would close in the massive rezoning of Atlanta Public Schools.

What East Lake residents feared most is if their neighborhood school were to close, that it wouldn't become a decaying shell of its former self and magnet for crime.

On Tuesday, the APS Board of Education voted on a final plan that closes seven schools, including East Lake Elementary.

The plan, which will be implemented at the start of 2012-13 academic year, calls for East Lake students to attend Toomer Elementary in neighboring Kirkwood.

The East Lake campus itself will be used in that academic year as the temporary home for Coan Middle School students. Coan is being vacated for students from Jackson High School, which is about to undergo a $40 million facelift.

And after that?

"The school repurposing committee is convening today regarding these matters," APS spokesman Keith Bromery told East Atlanta Patch. "There is no dedicated e-mail address established as of yet to receive input regarding this effort. Other than the desire to repurpose these schools as soon as possible, there is no established timetable for doing so."

East Lake Elementary itself is the result of a repurposing. The school, opened in 1920, had previously served as the DeKalb County Courthouse.

APS hasn't had a stellar track record in some neighborhoods when it comes to closed school buildings. The old David T. Howard High School and Walden Middle School in Old Fourth Ward, both have been closed for decades.

How should it be reporposed for the good of East Lake? What's your vision for this vacancy?

Nick April 11, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Charter school.
Péralte Paul (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM
You like living on the edge, eh, Nick? Those two words put together in some parts 'round here aren't necessarily welcome. I'm not sure a charter school would work there since it's so close to Drew Charter.
Tank April 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I have a novel idea, let's sell it to a corrupt real estate tycoon for next to nothing and let it sit vacant for over a decade....Oh wait, they already did that with the John B. Gordon School in East Atlanta. And yeah, almost equally as good an idea being another charter school on the SE side. How about a park? Green space? A community garden? A playground? A children's science museum? But no, those don't make money, so back we go to the real estate tycoon....<sigh>.
Nick April 12, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Just like stokin' the coals, Peralte! Ok, how about a "theme school"? =D Or a church, community development center, technical school, assisted living center...last choice is some sort of loft/condo type living, but keep the look of the exterior, a la Kirkwood Elementary.
Dana Lee April 12, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I would love to develop an indoor/outdoor tennis facility. Build the interest in tennis like what East Lake did for golf.
JR Garcia May 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM
"The East Lake campus itself will be used in that academic year as the temporary home for students from Jackson High School, which is about to undergo a $40 million facelift." Is this correct? I thought Coan Middle was going to the East Lake E.S. site, while Jackson High went to the Coan during the renovation?
Péralte Paul (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Yes, you're right.

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