On Tuesday, the Fulton County School Board unanimously approved entering into the use of eminent domain on a commercial property the relocated for Heards Elementary School.
The school system will purchase the property at 6151 Powers Ferry Road. The property owner is working to relocate the 14 tenants in the building, but eminent domain may be necessary.
Susan Hale, a spokesperson for Fulton County Schools, said in an email that the board will continue negotiations in hopes of reaching a resolution.
Currently, Heards Ferry Elementary School shares a site with Riverwood International Charter School. It has 42 instructional spaces with a capacity of 625. The new facility will have between 53-55 instructional spaces, capacity will be 850, and the building will be approximately 126,000 square feet. The design has yet to be completed so exact figures are subject to final design.
Collins Cooper Carusi Architects has been hired, and construction crews will break ground in early to mid-April 2014. The relocated school is scheduled to open in August 2015.
“That’s why we had to put eminent domain out there as tool, to put it on a critical timeline,” said Patrick Burke, Deputy Superintendent of Operations for Fulton County Schools, last month.
Fulton officials looked at more than 25 sites and worked with the City of Sandy Springs to identify the best location.
Burke has said that traffic is a big issue in the area of the new site. “It’s been a consideration all along. It’s an issue at the existing site. It’s a challenge no matter what you do in the Sandy Springs area,” he said. “The number of options were few and far between in what we were looking for. I think we’ve really tried to find the most viable option out there.”