On April 16, 2018 the DeKalb County School Board voted 4-3 along a north-south split to place the new Cross Keys High School at the old Briarcliff High School site near Adams Stadium on North Druid Hills Road. This location is actually outside of the Cross Keys district and would require all of the 1316 students (current enrollment) to commute across the busy and congested Interstate 85 and Briarcliff Road intersections twice daily. All three of the school board members that represent areas directly affected by this move voted against the Briarcliff HS location.
This takes the Cross Keys HS out of the community and further limits student participation in after school enrichment such as tutoring opportunities, clubs, and athletics. For the current Cross Keys HS location, there are 26 school bus routes that are required to deliver the students safely on a daily basis. Locating the new Cross Keys HS east of I85 ensures that there will be no safe walk or bike to school options. Virtually all students within the Cross Keys HS district will have to either take the bus or be driven. Navigating this many school buses across the I85 - North Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road - North Druid Hills Road interchanges will only make an awful traffic situation worse.
Making matters worse is the relocation of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to that same I85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange. It has been estimated that when the hospital opens there will be an additional 14,000 cars using that intersection on a daily basis.
CHOA Opening Hospital at I85 and North Druid Hills Road
WSB recently ran a story on the effect of this decision on the Brookhaven community
Brookhaven passes resolution asking DeKalb Schools to keep Cross Keys High School in city
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst
“I know there is a way to get this done, there are many different ways to get this done, we just need a willing partner with the school system to do it,” he said. “I believe we can help them in any way to mitigate both the economics and social justice aspects of this.”
Revisiting this decision and building Cross Keys HS along the Buford Highway corridor would restore the school to its district as well as demonstrate that the focus is on student learning, enrichment, and community. Some of the other proposed sites within Brookhaven are shown in the article below.
Redistricting Lakeside HS
Additionally, the proximity between the Briarcliff/Cross Keys HS and Lakeside HS would also likely result in redistricting in order to re-balance the attendance zones. Previously, the DeKalb County leadership had estimated that 150-250 students from the Sagamore Hills ES or Oak Grove ES would be redistricted from Lakeside HS to the new Cross Keys HS. The fear of being redistricted out of the Lakeside HS district was one driving force behind the initial acceptance of the expansion plans at Lakeside HS before the extent of the logistical concerns came to light.
Lakeside Better Not Bigger