The Georgia Bikes Blog

Cobb County School District Announces Site Selection for New Elementary School in Smyrna Downtown

Site Selection of New Smyrna Elementary School Announced

Smyrna, GA – The Cobb County School District announces site selection and offer/contract vote to purchase property from the Smyrna Downtown Area Development Corporation (SDADC) along with adjoining privately owned property for building a new downtown elementary school in the City of Smyrna (within Ward 3, downtown area). SDADC is scheduled to vote on Thursday, February 10.

The bulk of the property identified for purchase is adjacent to the Belmont Hills redevelopment project and is located at 2525 Ward Street, Smyrna Ga 30080, property currently known as Smyrna Commons apartments, 144 units next to Campbell High School. The purchase includes 7.45 acres of the Smyrna Commons apartment complex 9.62 acres which was purchased by SDADC in July 2008 for the purpose of changing the future use of the property and to obtain right-of-way for a road that is part of area redevelopment plans. Approximately 2.17 acres of the SDADC property will be retained for right-of-way/road plan for a future Atlanta Road-Ward Street connector.

The new school would open in the fall of 2013 and was approved by voters in 2008 as part of the school capital projects program funded by a Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax. The 18-acre site is contiguous to both the Belmont Hills redevelopment area and the back entrance of Campbell High School, and is less than one mile from the downtown Smyrna Village Green. The school board will vote on the proposed $7.8 million land acquisition at its regular meeting on February 17, 2011. It is also expected that during that meeting, the board will consider hiring an architect for the design of the new school. Portions of the property purchased from SDADC are planned to include play areas and open space that would be available for community use.

“The size of a new elementary school in Smyrna could be 900 students which excludes other neighborhood location options. Walkability and neighborhood access, however, are critical. The fact that this location has no heavy individual neighborhood traffic impact but provides for easy absorption of school traffic into an existing and improving infrastructure makes this property a very good choice. The location also allows for extra space for playgrounds and associated green space.” -- Teri Anulewicz, Councilwoman Ward 3.

The SDADC (an entity of the Smyrna Housing Authority), working through staff of the City of Smyrna Community Development Department and a private onsite management company, have been operating the renovated Smyrna Commons property until such time as development in the area would allow action upon existing plans for the Belmont Hills development and/or sale of the property for use consistent with approved area plans. Authorities expect that during the course of 2011, leases currently held at Smyrna Commons will run full course and not be renewed, allowing the property to be vacant at time of sale to the Cobb County School District.

HB 101- Better Bicycling bill


UPDATE, 4/13/11, 1:45 PM

Due to modifications made in the Senate yesterday, HB 101 must come before the House of Representatives once more before it can be signed by the Governor.

Senate changes include:

  • An amendment defining the minimum safe passing distance as three feet
  • Removal of language prohibiting parking in bicycle lanes (In some areas, bicycle lanes have been inappropriately installed in on street parking areas. Georgia Bikes! plans to work on this issue.)
  • Removal of language requiring children under the age of 1 year to wear a helmet (no helmets are manufactured for this age group)

Tomorrow, April 14th, is the final day of the 2011 legislative session. HB 101 will be called for an "agree" vote on the changes made. In order for the bill to pass, it must receive at least 91 votes. Please contact your state Representative NOW to urge their support of HB 101.

For a list of state Representatives, including their email address & how they voted on HB 101 the first time around, go here.

101 initially passed the House 93-73, so every vote truly counts! Thank you for taking a moment to get this important legislation over its final hurdle!

For the latest & previous versions of the bill, click here.

HB 101 Passed the Senate, 47-4

Many thanks to the overwhelming show of support for safer cycling from Georgia's Senators!