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! 


HB 180 - 3 Foot Safe Passing bill


3/18/11 AJC article about HB 180 not making it past "crossover" day. Even though it didn't pass this year, HB180 will be eligible for discussion and a vote during next year's session. Be sure you let your state Representative know your feelings about the "Tony Serrano Three Foot Passing Bill."

9:30 PM, 3/16/11 - The House adjourned until Monday. HB 180 was not released by House Rules Committee and therefore did not come forth for a full House vote. We sincerely appreciate all of the efforts from Georgia's cyclists in support of this bill. We will continue to push for this important safety legislation in future sessions. In the meantime, HB 101 did pass the House and will move into the Senate - watch for updates on getting the "Better Bicycling Bill" passed and enacted!

Current version of HB 180. For your reference, we have an updated white paper on HB 180, the "Three Foot Safe Passing" bill.

Legislative update

HB 101, aka the "Better Bicycling Bill" has  been introduced. You can keep up with the latest version here.

GDOT call for projects!

An important press release from GDOT below. To find your Regional Commission, go here.


Regional Commissions Accepting Project Nominations for Submittal to GDOT

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation’s Planning Division is requesting local governments throughout the state to suggest projects to be considered for the initial financially unconstrained list.  This list is being prepared for the 12 Regional Transportation Roundtables in conjunction with the Transportation Investment Act 2010 (TIA 2010), which will be voted on by Georgia citizens in an August, 2012, referendum.  TIA 2010 requires the Department’s Director of Planning to provide the Executive Committee for each Roundtable with a list of all projects meeting that region’s approved criteria.  This initial list is to be prepared without consideration of the cost of a project, i.e., financially unconstrained.

Local jurisdictions are being asked to send their request to the appropriate Regional Commission.  Project nominations are being accepted through March 30, 2011.  The official application and adopted criteria per region is posted at

“Compiling the list of potential projects nominated by local governments is the next step in the process of determining a final list of approved projects for voters,“ said Director of Planning Todd Long.  “Each Regional Commission will collect the projects submitted before forwarding them to the Planning Division.  The projects submitted should meet the specific criteria adopted by each Regional Roundtable.”

The Department is scheduled to provide the draft unconstrained list to the Executive Committee of the Regional Transportation Roundtables by early summer so that the Executive Committee will have time to shorten the list to match projected revenues from the sales tax.  A constrained list must be developed by the Executive Committee no later than August 15, 2011  The full roundtable will vote on the final list sometime before October 15, 2011.

“The final list of projects need to be strategic in nature; be appealing to the public; and must be deliverable,” Long said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. Additional transportation revenues are imperative to grow and sustain Georgia's economic vitality and quality of life through the 21st Century.  Georgia is the 3rd fastest-growing state in the nation, yet 49th in per capita spending on transportation.  For general information on the Georgia DOT, please visit our Web site (


Jill Goldberg
Deputy Press Secretary
Georgia Department of Transportation
600 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
404.631.1828 office
404.357.8038 mobile
404.631.1844 fax
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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