DeKalb County School District officials will recommend whether to demolish the unoccupied Briarcliff High School, according to a Facebook post.
According to Tim DeBardelaben of the Briarcliff High School BHS Coalition, the district administration will discuss what to do with the unoccupied building and will pass along its recommendation to the Board of Education. A flier posted on the Briarcliff High School Facebook page Sept. 17 asked people to rally at the Oct. 7 school board meeting and states that school board members will discuss the issue during their work session at 2 p.m. and will vote on it at its business meeting at 7 p.m.
The flier encourages supporters to email and call school members to oppose the demolition of the school building. However, many comments beneath the flier show a lack of support for keeping the school open, citing concerns over the cost.
Dianne Medlock Joy questioned how much money is being poured into the building to keep it open.
“As a taxpayer on [three] DeKalb county houses and [three] grandchildren who live in DeKalb County, I want to see my money go to something that improves our school system–the same system that provided us a great education,” Joy posted. “That abandoned building is a money pit and needs to be torn down, sold or at least leased out to an outside company.”
“We cannot afford as a district to spend money on a building that will not be used, or that will cost more to tear down, than the property’s value,” Dawn Forman said in a post.
DeBardelaben said he was told it would cost $500,000-$750,000 to demolish it.
“I don’t think anyone knows an accurate figure yet,” he said.
Briarcliff High School, which is located on North Druid Hills Road, opened in 1958 to relieve overcrowding at Druid Hills High School, according to its Wikipedia page. The school district closed Briarcliff at the end of the 1986-1987 school year due to a population shift.
DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) and the Open Campus High School operated in Briarcliff’s buildings from 1987 to 2009. DSA moved back onto Avondale High School’s campus in 2009 and the Open Campus moved to the new county office campus in Stone Mountain. Adams Stadium remains a site for high school football games and other events.
In 2006, Florida developer Sembler Company offered to purchase the 39 acres along North Druid Hills Road, which includes the land Briarcliff High School and Adams Stadium to build a large, mixed-use development. The school board valued Sembler’s offer at more than $60 million, which would be paid by Sembler in the form of a land-swap and the construction of new buildings for all of the displaced schools, according to news reports. However, the recession and protests by local residents ended Sembler’s plans.
The Briarcliff site was used as one location for shooting MTV’s Teen Wolf series.
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