After reading the recent article about Alpharetta City Council’s concerns regarding the parking at the new STEM campus in Alpharetta, we, the Fulton County Schools Board of Education members, feel some clarifications would help the community.
Some council members questioned the parking when we were asked to present the new design of the STEM campus as a courtesy to keep them informed. Unfortunately, we did not have those questions in advance but have since researched the Alpharetta codes to see how we fare against them.
Although public schools do not go through the zoning process, we always seek to be good neighbors in our communities. Here are the facts:
Alpharetta UDC (unified development code) requirement for a high school of this size: 482 parking spots.
Number of spots planned for new STEM campus: 640.
Second, it appears in the article that council was “suddenly” informed of Fulton County Schools’ plan just a short time after the City Council committed tax dollars to a parking deck.
That comes as quite a surprise, as the school system has kept the City Council in the loop during every step of our planning process beginning in 2016.
As we planned the current five-year capital plan, the School Board included plans for two STEM high schools. One of those campuses was planned for the site of the original Milton campus.
Prior to the community vote on SPLOST, which funds our capital plan, we met with the Alpharetta City Council to ensure they were aware it would be included in the referendum.
We knew that the city was considering a parking deck and indicated that we were open to partnering with them. We even went so far as to remind them of our offer at a public meeting in the fall of 2016 prior to the vote on parking.
When the citizens of Fulton County overwhelmingly passed the education SPLOST referendum, we again met with City Council to confirm our plans and outline a timeline.
This newspaper carried articles on the STEM campus plans in January, May, and August of 2017. Our goal has been transparency with our plans to both the community and the City Council.
Our partnerships with our city and county officials are important to us, as we serve the same constituents.
Fulton County Schools has operated a school on this site since 1921. We look forward to the next exciting educational chapter for this important location in the heart of Alpharetta.