DEKALB COUNTY, GA– At a Called Board Meeting today(May 31), the DeKalb County Board of Education approved a resolution to modernize Druid Hills High School (DHHS). The unanimous vote at the virtual meeting provides the necessary authorization for the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) to begin its work to renovate the school, which serves more than 1,300 students in grades 9-12.
Initially built in 1927 with additions in 1950, 1953, 1961, 1965, and 2010, Druid Hills High encompasses about 171,000 square feet. Currently, modernization of the school is estimated at $50 million.
“Today’s vote is an important step in facing one of the many facilities needs across the district,” said Interim Superintendent Vasanne S. Tinsley. “Without a doubt, the conditions at Druid Hills High School illustrate the poor conditions in several of our facilities. Many of these issues are not new and highlight systemic, operational shortcomings that have persisted for far too long.”
Now that the Board has approved the project, DeKalb County School District personnel can begin the process of procuring and awarding the design services by this fall. The actual design phase of the project is expected to take approximately a year, with construction anticipated to commence in Spring 2024. The construction phase will take 1-2 years to complete the entire project.
The school will remain open throughout the modernization efforts.
The Georgia Department of Education has assigned Dr. Tanzy Kilcrease to work with the DeKalb County School District as a special advisor to assist with executing the current Comprehensive Master Plan and Facilities Corrective Action Plan. The collaboration is focused on addressing short, mid, and long-range facility needs. It will also provides a substantive roadmap to ensuring the future regular maintenance and facility issues are not neglected, officials stated.
The facility will be brought up to the current standards for structure and environment. These enhancements include state-of-the-art technology, upgraded plumbing, improved heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, advanced safety systems, a new roof, electrical upgrades, modern lighting conversions, superior acoustic designs, etc.
Superintendent Tinsley said that the District will continue implementing its aggressive action plan to improve facilities and maintenance projects across the school system and welcomes the partnership with the Georgia Department of Education.
“I have spoken to Dr. Kilcrease and look forward to a cooperative partnership. My expectation is that by working together, families and staff will see improvements at DCSD facilities on the first day of school on Aug. 8,” Tinsley said.