The gleaming new North Atlanta High School crosses over a lake, rises 11 stories and eases student overcrowding. At about $147 million, it also costs more than any other public school in Georgia.
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Atlanta Public Schools is preparing to release the results of an investigation into North Atlanta High School within the next few weeks, said Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel.
The investigation comes after Superintendent Erroll Davis last fall removed the school’s principal, Mark MyGrant, and his administrative team. Davis said at the time that the school’s academic performance led to their dismissals.
McDaniel couldn’t confirm whether the investigation would deal with allegations of grade changes and racism at the school because the school system’s internal auditor works independently and confidentially.
“There were some issues last year that were well-reported and well-covered. I really don’t know what this report will be, so I’ll just wait and see what this internal audit report is, and we’ll deal with that when it’s issued,” McDaniel said.
Last August, McDaniel sent an email to Associate Superintendent Steve Smith asking him to collect data from North Atlanta that would break down the school’s graduation rates and other performance metrics by race. He asked for an ethnic breakdown of teachers and staff who were recommended for positions by interim principal MyGrant.
— Mark Niesse
METRO ATLANTA SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION COSTS PER SQUARE FOOT
Atlanta Public Schools: North Atlanta High School, $163
DeKalb County: Arabia Mountain High School, $153; Tucker High School, $143
Cherokee County: River Ridge High School, $155
Henry County: Locust Grove High School, $145
Forsyth County: Lambert High School, $138
Fulton County: Johns Creek High School, $137
Cobb County: Allatoona High School, $136
Gwinnett County: Archer High School, $115
Sources: WSB-TV, local districts
First days of school in metro Atlanta
- Thursday, Aug. 1 — Decatur city
- Monday, Aug. 5 — Cherokee, Henry and Rockdale counties
- Wednesday, Aug. 7 — Atlanta city, Buford city, Cobb and Gwinnett counties
- Thursday, Aug. 8 — Marietta city
- Monday, Aug. 12 — Clayton, DeKalb, Fayette, Fulton counties
ANATOMY OF NORTH ATLANTA HIGH’S $147 MILLION PRICE TAG
- $55.3 million to buy the 507,093-square-foot property, which was previously used as an IBM office building.
- $82.6 million for renovations and new construction, and $8.8 million for athletic facilities, including a football field, track and baseball field.
- Construction costs increased from a “working budget” of $42 million in June 2011 to a $71 million contract awarded in April 2012 after the school district expanded the size of the project and assessed the property’s design and topography. Costs increased another $20 million to cover expenses including unsuitable soil, buried trash, asbestos removal and wage increases sought by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Where is it?
The new school is located at 4111 Northside Pkwy Atlanta, GA 30327 between Mount Paran Road and the Chattahoochee River.
How we got the story
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looked into the features and cost of the new North Atlanta High School in collaboration with WSB-TV. Staff reporter Mark Niesse reviewed construction documents and interviewed Atlanta Public Schools officials, parents and community members.