- Fulton County Schools
GDOT Updates on the Widening of I-285 and SR 400
Note: The following letter from Superintendent Mike Looney was sent to all FCS Parents and Community on Sept. 5, 2019.
Dear Parents & Community,
Recently the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has made more information available regarding their plans to expand Georgia Hwy 400 under the Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP).
The department has been open in discussing several possible options with Fulton County Schools (FCS) for the expansion and location of the new lanes relative to our schools and proximity to FCS property. The district has asked GDOT to consider moving the expansion to the West of the existing highway boundaries; however, we were notified they did not consider this a viable option.
Based on the information we have now, GDOT’s current plans give us great concern because of the potential risks to student, employee and visitor safety.
Not only will the new lanes have a physical impact to Woodland Elementary School and Dunwoody Springs Elementary School; the entire school district and all Fulton County taxpayers could be impacted if the high cost of mitigation due to the MMIP becomes the district’s sole responsibility.
Due to these facts, we felt it was important to take a stand that will go beyond today’s current situation and will become the school district’s stance as we consider future proposals and highway expansions.
Therefore, on August 22nd the Fulton County Board of Education took a formal position, in the form of a unanimous resolution, notifying GDOT of our opposition to any plan that negatively impacts school property. Please click here to see the resolution and letter from me to GDOT explaining our action.
Construction projects like this can take a long time and we are hopeful GDOT will take additional actions to reduce the risks and impact to FCS’s students and community. During this period, we ask that you engage and support our efforts to maintain the level of safety we currently have with our schools.
This can be best accomplished by contacting GDOT at 400ExpressLanes@dot.ga.gov or 404-556-9816 to let them know you oppose the current plans and impact to our schools.
If you have any questions about the FCS resolution please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Looney, Superintendent
Update on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP)
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) held meetings at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School and Riverwood High School on January 14th and 16th respectively to share information with our school community about the planned widening of SR 400 and Interstate 285 (information provided is available here). During these meetings, GDOT representatives collected comments and questions from our community.
Fulton County School System staff recently received a letter from GDOT that includes summaries of comments collected during the January meetings, GDOT’s responses, and reminders related to upcoming Public Information Open House (PIOH) meetings. This letter as well as a detailed matrix of questions gathered and responses provided is available using the hyperlinks below.
In addition, Fulton County School System staff attended the PIOH meetings held on February 28, 2019, March 5, 2019 and March 7, 2019. At these meetings, GDOT displayed updated concept plans illustrating revised right-of-way (land required) and proposed highway locations at Woodland ES, Dunwoody Springs ES, Sandy Springs MS and the new North Maintenance facility locations. A link to the information provided by GDOT is provided below.
GDOT School impact board.pdf
At the PIOH Meetings, GDOT shared a video depicting what the express lanes will look like when completed. Below is a YouTube link of the video displayed at PIOH meetings.
District staff has begun our own evaluation of the impacts based upon the revised concept plans provided by GDOT. More information will be shared about this and other next steps during the upcoming March meeting of the Board of Education.
Upcoming Public Information Open Houses: SR 400 Express Lanes
The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) will hold a series of Public Information Open Houses (PIOHs) concerning the proposed SR 400 Express Lanes (PI 0001757) in Fulton and Forsyth counties. The purpose is to provide the public with opportunities to learn more about the project, ask questions, and provide feedback.
The public is invited to attend the following meetings:
|2/28||11 a.m.- 2 p.m. & 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.||Hilton Garden Inn
|4025 Windward Plaza
|3/5||4:30 - 7:30 p.m.||Forsyth Conference Center||3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd
Cumming, GA 30041
|3/7||4:30 -7:30 p.m.||DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Atlanta - Roswell
|1075 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell, GA 30076
|3/12||4:30 - 7:30 p.m.||City Springs||1 Galambos Way
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
GDOT Meetings on the Widening of I-285 and SR 400 (Original Post)
The Georgia Department of Transportation recently held meetings at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School and Riverwood High School to share information with the school community about the planned widening of SR 400 and Interstate 285.
Information presented at the meeting is posted at http://www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/SR400.
The GDOT projects are part of the agency's statewide "Major Mobility Investment Program" (MMIP), which includes construction of express lanes and interchange improvements along the two roadways. At these meetings, GDOT staff shared information about the projects, the project timeline, and future right-of-way acquisitions. They also discussed their “typical” express lane design that will be used throughout the future projects. Once the conceptual design has been completed, GDOT will hold additional meetings to review this design and its impact to certain Fulton schools and administrative buildings. The January meetings, which included a Q&A session at the end of the Riverwood HS meeting, were a continuation of the conversation between Fulton County Schools and GDOT.
GDOT first approached Fulton County Schools to introduce the MMIP program and presented very limited information which did not include specific details about the impact to district facilities. GDOT officials later requested an October 22nd meeting with District staff in which they provided conceptual information that did reveal potential impacts to the schools and administrative buildings. At its November 6th work session, district staff presented the information that was provided by GDOT (in October) about the potential impact to the following five schools and two administrative buildings (video of the FCS presentation can be found here during Superintendent Reports and the GDOT slide deck at this link):
- Dunwoody Springs Elementary School (SR 400, Sandy Springs) - View the Dunwoody Springs Map
- Woodland Elementary School (SR 400, Sandy Springs) - View the Woodland Map
- Sandy Springs Middle School (SR 400, Sandy Springs) - View the Sandy Springs Map
- New North Maintenance Facility (SR 400, Alpharetta) - View the North Maintenance Facility Map
- Riverwood High School (I-285, Sandy Springs) - View the Riverwood Map 1 | View the Riverwood Map 2
- Heards Ferry Elementary School (I-285, Sandy Springs) - View the Heards Ferry Map
- Administrative Center (I-285, Sandy Springs) - View the FCS Admin Center Map
Fulton County Schools has raised numerous concerns including the impact on student and staff safety, the proximity of the additional lanes to the schools, Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) requirements as well as the effects on playfields, noise levels, and exhaust fumes.
Since the November Board Meeting, GDOT has stated they appreciate the concerns raised by the Board and have made certain revisions to their plans to reduce the impact to these schools and buildings. GDOT has not provided those revised plans to Fulton County Schools.
The Board of Education and Fulton County Schools Staff are committed to continually monitoring these plans as they develop and providing critical feedback to GDOT to ensure the safety and security of students and staff, and
Resources related to this project: