Fulton County Schools is moving its headquarters from a Cleveland Avenue building in the southern part of the district to a facility in Sandy Springs.
The move, already approved by the Fulton County School Board, is part of a broad plan that will see the district go from using six older buildings to three newer ones.
District officials say the plan would yield a one-time savings of $22 million in capital investment and an annual savings of $2.2 million. It would reduce the district’s office square footage from 650,637 to between 175,000 and 200,000 square feet, an important factor when cleaning and energy costs are considered.
The district’s new headquarters will be at 6201 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs, with other office functions performed at 450 Northridge Parkway, also in Sandy Springs, and at 4025 Flat Shoals Road in Union City.
There have long been complaints from some parents that the southern part of the 90-mile-long district has been neglected in favor of the faster-growing, more affluent northern part. District officials said, however, that the headquarters move is in line with a northern shift to where most of the students live. And the offices in Union City will provide a southern presence.
“The district’s population has shifted over the last 50 years,” Superintendent Robert Avossa said. “The new central administrative building, and the north and south learning centers, will allow us to have a footprint across the entire school system and provide broader access to district support services. Consolidating our support centers will provide greater service to students, and the money saved in operational costs will benefit our taxpayers. These savings can be redirected to the classroom and invested into student learning.”
It would cost the district $56 million to renovate the six older buildings, all of which received a rating of “poor” on a physical needs assessment conducted before Fulton voters approved a one-penny sales tax to pay for facilities improvements.
“Like older schools, administrative buildings become harder to maintain and costlier to operate as they age,” Fulton School Board President Linda Schultz said. “When the time came to consider improved facilities, we knew it was also time to look at the current location of our administrative centers and whether they were in the right place.”
Fulton expects to complete its purchase of the Sandy Springs facilities by the end of this month, and district staff members will begin moving into them by September 2014. All relocations are expected to be completed by June of 2015.