Actual Factual DeKalb: What will an $8M makeover get one aging school?


This is "Actual Factual DeKalb," a regular column in which I answer reader questions about goings-on and history in DeKalb County. 

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Hey, y'all. I was searching through some older questions you submitted that I hadn't been able to get to, and came across one I wanted to revisit. It's a bit more serious than the nonsense I typically address in this column, but humor me (or...somber me?), please.

Back in September, reader Dee wrote: When will Stone Mountain High School be renovated? 

The reason this isn't funny is the conditions of the Central Drive school have drawn complaints from students and, apparently, caused some shame.

Last November Channel 2 Action News ran a report showing the battered track field and bathrooms. The school, reportedly about 60 years old, was crumbling, students said.

“It hurts my heart to see our school deteriorating like this,” Rayven Chism, then a junior, said into the camera. 

She recalled a visit from an ambassador, who came to the auditorium. The ceiling was leaking.

"That’s completely embarrassing,” the student said.

Changes coming:

A district official told the TV station renovations were coming, but the report didn't say when.

As it happens, they were getting started about the same time Dee thought to ask me about the school.

The school district sent a project update Tuesday. The construction is budgeted up to $8,655,204 and expected to be done by September 2017.

The plans include: 

  • Resurfacing the track and tennis courts
  • Repairs to the baseball and softball fields
  • Repaving the parking lots
  • Renovations to chemistry labs
  • Updates to the media center
  • New drinking fountains
  • "Theatrical lighting" (presumably in the auditorium)
  • Fresh carpet around the school

— I am a staff writer with the AJC and a proud DeKalb County resident. To submit “Actual Factual DeKalb” questions, contact me at joshua.sharpe@ajc.com@JoshuaWSharpe on Twitter or via the form below.

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