No high school at Heritage Center

Heritage Center has been proposed as the location for a new US Marine Corps Military Academy High School. Originally, Heritage School was placed in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood to serve local children who could walk to elementary school. The features of the neighborhood that made this location ideal for that purpose make it inappropriate for a high school. We note that: *Heritage Center is off Briarcliff Rd, which is already severely congested by another high school within 0.6 miles; *It is on Heritage Dr., a two-lane street, which is already congested by school buses serving a school of 50 students and which cannot accommodate the traffic associated with a high school (up to 650 students plus employees); *Its parking lot is inadequate for a school of the size envisioned; *It is next to Charles McDaniel Park, the only small park and playground for miles, which will be adversely affected, if not eventually eliminated; *The numerous buses, cars, and teenage drivers would pose a potential danger to the many young children who play on neighborhood sidewalks; *The school is not centrally located in the county, leading to excessive transportation costs and associated pollution; and *That this preliminary decision has been made without any community involvement. Therefore, we, the undersigned, urge the Superintendent of the DeKalb County School System and the DeKalb County Board of Education to reconsider the location of the US Marine Corps Military Academy High School. Before any move to Heritage Center, we request a feasibility study to ascertain whether the facility meets the needs of the proposed school, a traffic engineering report to determine the effect on traffic and the neighborhood, and real and meaningful engagement with the community.

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    Marilyn Seelman, D.M.A., United States

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