Skip to content

Farewell Fernbank

Demolition of the Fernbank School will begin on January 6 with asbestos abatement. The following day, two area residents and two Fernbank parents will meet with representatives of the DeKalb County School District (at the district’s request). During the past month, Druid Hills residents have asked district officials to review an alternative plan created by neighbor Jason Moss. Please check back for updates. In the meantime, the demolition plan is posted below.

ALTERNATIVE PLAN: Fernbank Alternative Design


  1. claudiajkeenan #

    Neighbors are urged to attend a SPLOST IV meeting at the Sam Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, on Thursday, January 23, at 6pm. It will be an opportunity to engage our area representative, Charles Rogers, and others involved in SPLOST oversight regarding the use of funds toward the prototype for Fernbank School that the DCSS has proposed, to which many parents and neighborhood residents object.

  2. Gene Barger #

    We are looking to the DHCA and the PTA to help raise awareness. Sydney Cleland and Jason Moss (the architect who designed the alternative plan) along with several other folks representing the DHCA, PTA, and Fernbank Foundation were set to meet with county and school system officials on Jan.7th but the meeting was cancelled due to the cold weather. Subsequently, Sydney has made an effort to contact them to re-schedule but has yet to receive a response. The original design plan is likely to become finalized sometime in Feb or March. I would encourage everyone to click on the Alternative Plan link on this page and read about the current design’s impact on the environmental, safety, aesthetic, and student quality of life factors. Trying to fit a prototype design on that topography along with the needless destruction of the old growth forest is inexcusable in this day and age of enlightened Green design and construction practices.

    • Gene, Sydney, and all — I have reviewed the Alternative Design document you posted. It is very impressive. My most important question is what is the anticipated cost of building the Alternative Design compared to the original design? It is clearly a better design in multiple ways, but at what cost?

      Community members who support the Alternative Design probably need very clear instructions on what messages to communicate to which relevant policy makers, with telnums, email addresses, and the like. This probably needs something like a campaign strategy.

      • Gene Barger #

        Mike, while I am not qualified to give you a definitive answer (that would fall more in Jason Moss’ purview), the Alternative Design should be cheaper in terms of the cost savings associated with less required site prep. Given that the prototype design drawings would still be used, I suspect there won’t be much additional time required from the architects. From what I can tell, cost does not appear to be a factor in terms of resistance to the Alternative Plan. While prototype designs serve to reduce the initial fees (a one size fits all set of drawings), having to adapt them to challenging topography incurs a lot more cost than adapting them to sites with less dramatic changes in elevation. You save a few bucks on the front end but pay a lot more later and increase the risk of compromising the very same “Green” design/construction standards that our County has supposedly embraced.

  3. claudiajkeenan #

    The community remains deeply concerned about the County’s plans for the site. Please stay tuned for updates.

  4. Please stay tuned for updates about Fernbank. The community remains concerned about the County’s proposal for the site.

  5. Gene Barger #

    While I can certainly understand the parental frustration with the snail’s pace of replacing the school, this new building will be here for a long time and its design will have a lasting impact on the students and teachers, as well as the property values of the neighborhood. Due to the significant problems associated with the current plan being sited on some very challenging topography, the Alternative Design is a much better option when it comes to environmental impact, aesthetic appeal, and the preservation of more of the old growth forest as well as an additional acre of playground space. With less site preparation required, the Alternative Design may very well speed up the construction effort. I would encourage everyone to become more informed and more involved as the opportunity for you to make a lasting difference will be coming to a close.

    • Mike St. Louis, 1031 Oakdale Road #

      Thanks for these thoughts. Is there a website at which one can see the Alternative Design, or at which one can be kept informed of what is happening? Also, in terms of being more involved, are there specific upcoming events or processes at which you hope the community will be engaged?

      • Gene Barger #

        Mike, please check out the previous posting “The Future of Fernbank School” on this DHCA website (link toward top of page) along with Fernbank Alternative Design.”

      • Thank, I found it. However, it hasn’t yet downloaded after several minutes. It’s either a problem in the website or a very large file.

        Is there a way that you are hoping the community will engage to support the Alternative Design? Public meetings, or other?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: