New Booth Middle School decision coming soon?

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J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City, off South Peachtree Parkway. Photo/Ben Nelms.
J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City, off South Peachtree Parkway. Photo/Ben Nelms.

UPDATE — School System posts Q&A about J.C. Booth construction options; Board of Education narrows choices to 2 options; vote could come March 11; second life for Tyrone Elementary and Fayetteville Intermediate? —

The conversation about the future of Booth Middle School will come with a possible vote at the March 11 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education. That meeting will continue the discussion of either renovating Booth or relocating it, and re-opening Tyrone Elementary School.

Friday afternoon, the school system posted online questions and answers on their website to respond to public inquiries. “Parents, students and community members are encouraged to visit the site, www.fcboe.org, to learn more about the options that are being considered by the Fayette County Board of Education. Click the graphic in the slide show (Renovate or Rebuild) to access the question and answer document,” the news release said.

“The options will be discussed by the Board during the March 11 work session that will take place at 2 p.m. in the boardroom of the Fayette County Board of Education in building “B” of the LaFayette Educational Center, 205 LaFayette Avenue in Fayetteville,” according to the school system news release.

The school board on Feb. 25 looked at five options pertaining to Booth, and at the need to take pressure off some of the elementary schools in Peachtree City.

The board by consensus preferred Option 1 and 2.

Option 1 would renovate the existing Booth and renovate and expand Tyrone Elementary at a net cost of $29.4 million. Also, the system in a Q&A posted online March 8 noted that the repurposed Fayetteville Intermediate Elementary School, next to Hood Avenue Elementary in Fayetteville, also woud have to renovated and reopened to serve as an elementary school again.

Option 2 would construct a new Booth on the recently purchased site near Robinson Road, and renovate and expand Tyrone at a net cost of $43.7 million. That cost, however, is projected to be significantly offset given that Booth has an assessed value of $12 million.

The presumption underlying Option 2 is that a willing buyer would pay the valuation price for a four-decade-old complex situated in a residential area and zoned for educational use, or it could be leased.

By consensus, board members indicated their preference for both options, though Option 2 brought the highest preference.

School staff will present a more detailed look at the two options at the March 11 meeting.

In terms of what use the current Booth might see if the school is relocated to the new site or what cost, likely relatively minimal, would be involved in readying it for use as another educational facility, those variables will also be reviewed.

Pertaining to the re-opening of Tyrone Elementary, Facilities Director Mike Satterfield said the residential development on Peachtree City’s west side could bring in up to another 500-600 students, all currently zoned for Kedron Elementary School.

The expansion of Tyrone would accommodate up to 550 students, 150 more than the school held when it closed.

Re-opening Tyrone would bring the students living in the town back home and would accommodate others to the south, thus taking the enrollment pressure off Kedron and other elementary schools on Peachtree City’s north side.

Part of the reason Tyrone Elementary was closed several years ago was due to significant issues with the failing septic system. The Tyrone Town Council last year approved a sewer deal with Fulton County for more capacity, and recently approved the construction of a new municipal complex at a nearby location on Senoia Road. Current plans are to sewer the north side of Senoia Road, giving the elementary school the availability of connecting to the sewer system.

As for now-moot Options 3, 4 and 5, each was more costly and did not provide the advantages of the first two, officials said.

Option 3 would renovate the existing Booth and construct a new elementary school at a net cost of $40.4 million.

Option 4 would construct a new Booth and renovate the existing school for elementary school use at a net cost of $37.1 million.

Option 5 would construct a new middle and elementary school on the new school site for a net cost of $54.7 million.

Superintendent Jody Barrow, as he has done at recent meetings, reiterated that Booth is next on the list of the school system’s 5-year facilities plan. As such, action on the future of Booth needs be forthcoming in a timely manner.

New sewer line near empty Tyrone Elementary School could bring relief for the septic-challenged site

It has been several years since Tyrone Elementary School was closed. With the upcoming addition of sewer connections to Senoia Road, the town is asking the Fayette County Board of Education to consider re-opening the school.

It turns out that the expansion and re-opening of the elementary school is a part of the two options preferred by a consensus of school board members.

Mayor Eric Dial in a Feb. 20 letter to the school board explained that the Senoia Road area, which includes the school, is expected to have sewer installed by August 2020. Dial, and many in the Tyrone community, have longer hoped that the school can be re-opened.

“We look forward to working with the school board on the revitalization of Tyrone,” Dial said.

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.
Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.

Superintendent Jody Barrow at the Feb. 25 school board meeting reported on Dial’s letter.

“With sewer coming to Tyrone that certainly gives the board the opportunity to consider renovating the site, connecting it to the sewer and being able to possibly re-open the school in the future,” said Barrow, adding that the board had other decisions to make before considering the potential in Tyrone.

Barrow said he spoke with Mayor Dial, adding that Tyrone is excited about the idea of having the elementary school re-open.

Barrow said there are two groups currently leasing the school site, adding that they can continue at the school until other plans are forthcoming.

Fayette County School Superintendent Jody Barrow. File photo.
Fayette County School Superintendent Jody Barrow. File photo.

Facilities Director Mike Satterfield said that Tyrone Elementary, when it closed, had approximately 400 students. He said the desire would be to add another five or six classrooms to bring capacity up to the range of 550 students.

Tyrone Elementary is one of the smaller schools in the district. A main reason in the prior decision to close it several years ago, along with a shrinking countywide student enrollment, dealt with the failing septic system and the absence of a sewer connection. Today, the prohibition over sewer no longer exists.

The school board will continue looking at options for Booth Middle School in Peachtree City at the March 11 meeting. Both of the options being considered include expanding and re-opening Tyrone Elementary School.