Board of Education’s Rabold criticizes City Council in middle school controversy

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Mr. Beverly: I would like to respond to your article concerning traffic at the new middle school in Peachtree City. There have been several accusations leveled at the school board and school system in this article and I would like to respond. My response is representative of ME and not the entire Board of Education. I can only speak for myself and not the Board.

First statement: “Why did someone not think of the traffic problem before buying the property especially since nobody asked them (PTC) before making the decision whether the eastern city limit school site was a good idea.”

The board tried working with the PTC Council to purchase Riley Field for the new school. At first, they were interested then they said no. Prior to purchasing the current property, we asked if they thought this was feasible and they said yes. There is a minimum acreage the state requires to build a new middle school and there are not that many properties in PTC that meet those requirements.

It was the Board who paid for the traffic study. Realizing it is a critical intersection, it was the Board who solicited Representative Josh Bonner to get the Department of Transportation to attend a meeting with representatives from PTC and the Board to work on the traffic situation. The D.O.T. left the meeting because of the antics of those representing P.T.C.

Second statement: “Unless the Board of Education plans on paving Stagecoach Road.” There have been several meetings about paving Stagecoach Road. At every meeting those representing PTC always want something in return.

They want us to contribute to contribute to fixing the bubble enclosing the Kedron Aquatic Center/pool, provide money for fixing the intersections, giving them the rights to the old gym at the current J.C. Booth as well as the athletic fields, field house, etc.

The meetings have generally begun with a representative from PTC telling us what are the non-negotiables and paving Stagecoach Road is always one of them.

Third statement: The school system is scrambling to get PTC to do something to get us out of a hole we dug. There have been numerous meetings and all have ended due to the lack of willingness of the PTC representatives to work with us.

We are not scrambling to get out of any hole. We have paved a road to the new school. We are building golf cart paths. We would like to have another road for access to the school but, in my opinion, we have provided a paved road access to the school.

There are always two sides to a story. Two government entities squabbling in the media is not a good thing; however, I am tired of all the blame being put on the Board of Education and the school system.

Even the mayor of PTC came and spoke at public comments at a School Board meeting. Now she is trying to “squelch public criticism of another elected body.” Perhaps, as my father use to say, when you point the finger, you should remember the other three point back.

Respectfully,

Roy A. Rabold

Fayetteville, Ga.

[Rabold is the former principal of Whitewater High School and a current member of the Fayette County Board of Education.]

12 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s shed some light on “We have paved a road to the new school.” You bought a single family home in a subdivision, bulldozed it to the ground and paved over the site to send your school traffic through a narrow road in a neighborhood straight out to Hwy/54 at Walt Banks already struggling with McIntosh traffic. Oh yeah, let’s not forget to mention the traffic rating the intersection a big F.

  2. Thanks for the additional perspective Mr. Rabold. As you stated, I’m not sure what good having a public spat does for anyone in this situation. Are the vision and objectives of the the city, county and school board not aligned? At some point the adults on both sides are going to have to stand up and work to resolve the issues with this site as a community. Compromise and get it done.

      • EXACTLY! PTC may/may not be iffy, but this is NOT a PTC school, it is a county school. This was a done deal because of the alleged relationship between parties of the BOE and parties of the church. This is a lousy place to put a school, and everybody knew that, including the BOE. They decided to charge forward, and to h*ll with traffic reports and everything else. This new school was NOT in the last eSplost, but for whatever reason, the BOE pulled a “bait and switch” on the citizens of Fayette County, and dumped a majority of the money on a new school on a dirt road. This is a decision of the BOE, and the BOE needs to pay for their bad decisions. We the citizens of Fayette County are not responsible for this mess. And btw – don’t come back and ask for another eSplost, because we are fed up with the BOE and their bad decisions – one after another. i.e. Rivers Elementary.

      • As Spyglass noted, it’s not on Hwy 54 but I’m sure we’d all love traffic to effectively shut down 54 twice a day in an area with no easy alternate routes.

        The solution to this is to abandon the new site and renovate Booth as needed.

      • You do understand that we don’t actually need to build a new school at all, don’t you?

        The projection of growth the BOE used to justify getting the new school vs the old school is that JC Booth will see about 3 dozen new students over the next 10 years. That number of students can easily be accommodated simply by redistricting, as neighboring middle school districts have plenty of capacity during the same timeframe.

        But… there are fingers in pies all over. Land owners will make money off the increase in property values around the new school. Banks will make money off of the bonds. Construction companies will make money off of the buildings. And someone is going to get a nice discount on a school in the heart of Peachtree City where people with money love having private schools. There are a lot of facilitators in between who get a cut.

        When I first moved to the area nearly 20 years ago and asked questions about River’s Elementary, someone told me that the powers that be pull this hustle every 20 years. I thought they were just bein a FUD. Yet here we are, 20 years later.

    • EXACTLY! PTC may/may not be iffy, but this is NOT a PTC school, it is a county school. This was a done deal because of the alleged relationship between parties of the BOE and parties of the church. This is a lousy place to put a school, and everybody knew that, including the BOE. They decided to charge forward, and to h*ll with traffic reports and everything else. This new school was NOT in the last eSplost, but for whatever reason, the BOE pulled a “bait and switch” on the citizens of Fayette County, and dumped a majority of the money on a new school on a dirt road. This is a decision of the BOE, and the BOE needs to pay for their bad decisions. We the citizens of Fayette County are not responsible for this mess. And btw – don’t come back and ask for another eSplost, because we are fed up with the BOE and their bad decisions – one after another. i.e. Rivers Elementary.