Druid Hills video prompts school board, state officials to revisit renovations

Students from Druid Hills High School uploaded a video to YouTube April 11 that takes viewers on a tour of the school and highlights problems and potential health hazards throughout the buildings.

The video was published in response to DeKalb County School Board recently voting to remove Druid Hills High School from its list of priority renovations, according to a parent of a Druid Hills student.

In the video released by Druid Hills students, viewers can see what the video hosts call raw sewage leaking around an outdoor lunch area, mold in bathrooms, sinks detaching from walls, paint chipping, and other potential hazards.

Within two days of the video being uploaded, DeKalb County School District (DCSD) officials announced that school board members would revisit the Druid Hills repairs at the April 18 school board meeting. Details from the meeting were unknown at press time.

“The DeKalb County School District and Board of Education remain committed to ensuring that all our scholars are in positive learning environments. A proposal to renovate Druid Hills High School as part of the E-SPLOST VI project list is on the April 18 Board agenda,” a district spokesperson said in the statement.

Georgia Department of Education Communications Director Meghan Frick said state officials will also tour Druid Hills High School.

“Issues at Druid Hills were brought to our attention and our facilities team has been in touch with DeKalb to schedule a tour of the facility,” stated Frick. “They will then meet with the DeKalb County facilities team and other district leaders to allow them an opportunity to share their immediate and long-term plans to address concerns if any are noted. We will continue to follow up and stay in touch with their staff as needed.”

School board members Marshall Olson and Alyson Gevertz voted to keep Druid Hills on the priority list but were the only board members in favor of doing so during the original vote. Druid Hills High School was originally removed from the list of priority renovations in favor of spending the funding on a new early learning center initiative.

“The release of a video earlier this week from Druid Hills High School students showed many areas of concern throughout the building that we have long known about and have been working to address in meaningful ways,” said Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. “To this end, at its Regular Meeting on Monday, April 18, Board members will consider a resolution to modernize Druid Hills High School as part of the E-SPLOST VI project plan.”

Watson-Harris added that “it is my expectation that this process will guide our next steps in moving forward with renovations at the school, including addressing immediate needs.”

The April 18 board meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. and will be live streamed at https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/communications/dstv/. DCSD officials said a video of the meeting will be posted on DSTV afterward.

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