The Cobb Board of Education approved purchasing a 35-acre plot off Terrell Mill Road, near the intersection of Delk Road, for $9.4 million on Monday.
The address of the plot is 823 Terrell Mill Road, Marietta.
The area is a major thoroughfare for commuters heading into Atlanta on Interstate 75, and is already thick with traffic at rush hour, said Mike Craig, a resident of Amberly Park, a subdivision off of Terrell Mill and Delk roads.
More than 20 residential subdivisions dot the stretch of Terrell Mill Road that includes the desired tract.
With the board’s vote to rebuild Brumby Elementary School, which sits off Powers Ferry Road and Delk roads, residents think Brumby will be rebuilt on the newly purchased land.
Many said they were left out of the decision made by the school board and would have liked to have seen more research done before the board approved moving forward with the purchase.
“I’ve been asked by over 70 people, ‘What is going on?’” Craig said. “Let us know what is going on. We don’t want another Braves deal.”
A number of rumors have been swirling around his neighborhood, Craig said, and he came to Monday night’s meeting hoping to get some facts. An earlier call to board member Scott Sweeney had been unsuccessful, as Sweeney told Craig he couldn’t comment on the land deal.
“We’re not afraid about a school going back there, I’m concerned about the traffic,” Craig told the board Monday.
Nearly 3 miles north of the proposed Braves stadium, many of the residents in subdivisions along Terrell Mill are already anticipating future stadium traffic. At least four people spoke to the board about their concerns Monday.
John Norvander, a parent in one of the subdivisions off of Terrell Mill Road, asked the board if there could be a traffic study on the area before a school was built on the 35-acre site.
John Williams, a Marietta resident, warned the board that adding a new school along Terrell Mill Road would cause “absolutely horrendous” traffic problems.
“I think that would be a huge, unanticipated consequence to relocate to that area,” Williams said.
Bob Scalise, a resident of the Terrell Road area, agreed.
“To put a school there would be an absolute disaster,” Scalise said.
The district intends to rebuild Brumby Elementary School on the new site, which should be purchased by the board in the next one to two months, said Chris Ragsdale, the deputy superintendent of operational support.
A timeline has not yet been determined for construction, and the district has not begun to look for construction managers, Ragsdale said.
A traffic study is underway with the Cobb Department of Transportation, and results should be available within the next 45 days, Ragsdale said.
“It’s going to be miserable,” said Eric Stein, a parent at East Valley Elementary School on Lower Roswell Road, who says he drives on Terrell Mill Road every day to get to work.
Stein said he was concerned with the board’s decision to buy the land and rebuild Brumby and Mountain View Elementary.
South Cobb parents
Parents from Harmony Leland Elementary, in Mableton, broke into tears Monday after the board voted to rebuild both Brumby Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School with SPLOST IV funds.
Parents felt the board had made a political decision in not choosing their south Cobb school for a rebuild.
Board member David Morgan argued his district, south Cobb, deserved a new school, which would bring hope and inspiration to the communities. At least 25 parents, residents and students in blue T-shirts supporting Harmony Leland for a rebuild asked board members to choose their school Monday.
“We are pleading for you to vote yes to rebuild Harmony Leland,” said Shenna Ritch, a parent at the school.
Board members said the decision to not rebuild Harmony Leland was a tough call.
“We would like to choose them all, I’m sure, but we have two set aside with SPLOST IV to make a decision on,” Angelucci said.
Members Tim Stultz and Morgan tried to convince the board to approve rebuilding Mountain View Elementary only if funds from future land sales would be set aside to rebuild and consolidate Harmony Leland and Clay Elementary, both in south Cobb.
The rest of the board was unsure of the legality of such a move. Nevertheless, the board voted 5-2, with Morgan and David Banks opposed, to accept Mountain View to be rebuilt with SPLOST IV funds on the condition the board would set aside funds to construct a new school in south Cobb.
Angelucci said she was concerned about the finality of their move. Legally, it was not possible to guarantee a future board would continue to set aside funds for a new school in south Cobb.
Parents were not comforted with Stultz’s idea.
“Clearly the Cobb County School Board again overlooked the south Cobb area. Politics mean more than people,” said Sandi Douget, a concerned business owner.
Pete Hixson, a pastor at Vinings Lake Church in Mableton, said he was extremely disappointed with the decision.
“They are overlooking the greater good of Cobb County. I feel like it was a political decision, instead of what is best for the whole county,” Hixon said. “But people will win in the end over politicians.”