School System Looking to Sell Briarcliff High Land to Close Budget Gap?

The Department of Veteran Affairs is interested in building a health care facility on 12 to 15 acres on the North Druid Hills Road site, according to sources.

The DeKalb County School System may be looking to sell unused land around the now-defunct Briarcliff High School on North Druid Hills Road to plug a budget gap.

The school system has been speaking with a broker representing the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which wants to build a health care facility on 12 to 15 acres in a deal that would go for about $800,000 to $1 million, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

From the story:

Zimmerman said he first approached the school board about a year ago, but found no interest. Now, with their budget in disarray, school officials are taking his calls. DeKalb is facing a tax increase and cuts to its teaching staff to close a potential deficit of $73 million next year.

There's a bunch of good stuff in the AJC's story, including some of school board member Paul Womack's concerns, so check it out. Presently, the school's primary use seems to be a home base for Teen Wolf, the MTV show that .

What do you think about the proposed sale? Is it a good idea for the school system? Tell us in the comments section below.

Jane Stewart June 08, 2012 at 10:54 AM
That's $800,000 to $1,000,000 per acre -- total sale about $12-$15 million. Increasing class size by 1 student eliminates enough teachers to save about half that. Those are the choices the board is making right now. They have to cut at least $72 million. Most likely a lot more, since now there's an issue with property tax assessments.
Jim K. June 10, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I thought there'd never be a worse idea for the old Briarcliff High property than the Sembler proposal, but the BOE has outdone themselves with this one. Someone correct me if I'm wrong -- if the federal government buys the property, it's permanently removed from the tax digest (unless it becomes private property again in the future). Walk away from land the school system may need soon and take a minimal payout in exchange for no possibility of tax revenue for the forseeable future -- that's incredibly short-sighted. On top of that, we don't need an additional high-density traffic generator. Ever been on Clairmont in front of the VA hospital when all the veterans show up for their appointments? Traffic madhouse! Of course, traffic problems don't concern the BOE ...
lastminutemom June 11, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Actually, in this case it appears that a private entity buys and develops the buildings and the VA is a tenant -- thus the property becomes a part of the tax digest -- which by the way it isn't now.
~ HHS ~ June 11, 2012 at 08:37 PM
<<~~ALL FOR selling the property. As a former BHS graduate, it is a shame to see it just sitting there becoming an eyesore. As for traffic, the school has had MUCH more traffic in the past when it was open. (Especially, those football games against Lakeside---ahh the memories of getting our butts beat!--fun all the same.) But, I am confused.. Are they saying $800,000-$1M TOTAL for 12-15 acres on NDH Road--prime area??? umm.. where do I put MY bid in-- or do I have to be related to the BOE? If they are saying, $15,000,000 for the entire area, they are STILL EXTREMELY LOW!! Is there a new policy where we are supposed to take the first lowball offer before trying to get bids? HEY--Here's an idea-- Let's see if Wal-Mart wants it! ;-)
Jim K. June 14, 2012 at 01:38 AM
@lastminutemom -- I didn't see anything in the AJC article about a private entity buying and developing buildings and leasing them from the VA. Do you have another news source that lays out this plan?


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