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Don’t turn Grady High’s green front lawn into a parking lot

Maria Saporta

By Maria Saporta

Forget about NIMBY. My protest is NIMFY (Not In My Front Yard).

Grady High School is planning to turn its beautiful front lawn into a parking lot.

The plans are part of the Atlanta Public School’s efforts to improve its schools and accommodate increased student demand.

Conceptual drawing of Grady High’s front lawn as a parking lot (Special: Cooper Carry)

It’s great news that more parents and students are attending Grady High School, where I attended high school decades ago (not to mention I live across the street).

Still, the beauty of our schools grounds must not be sacrificed as the system expands.

To their credit, I was able to meet with APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen; Larry Hoskins, chief operating officer of APS; and Alvah Hardy, APS’ executive director of facilities services to learn more about their needs and their plans.

A view of Grady’s front lawn with roughly the same vantage point as the conceptual drawing above (Photo by Maria Saporta)

I do sympathize with their plight– seeking to avoid redistricting the popular Grady cluster by adding a new building to the school so it can handle a growth in students.

This past year, Grady had 1,389 students. By the 2023-2024 school year, it expects to have 1,464 students. That means more teachers and more staff.

“The bottom line is we need additional capacity,” Hoskins said. “If the building is going to be bigger, there are going to be more parking spaces.”

Hardy explained that APS has a policy to provide one parking space per teacher and staff member.

“We have an urban site with limited space,” Hardy said. “It is a 19.5 acre site, which includes the Grady stadium. There really aren’t a whole lot of options about where we can build.”

APS executives Larry Hoskins and Alvah Hardy in front of the historic entrance of Grady High School (Photo by Maria Saporta)

APS currently has a two-phased plan for the Grady High School project. The first phase will involve relocating 10 modular classrooms from the sunken field closer to 10th Street up to the front lawn.

In order to make enough room for the 10 classrooms, APS will be cutting down seven trees on the front lawn, including one that is dead, diseased or hazardous (DDH). Another older tree on the lawn has been designated DDH and will be cut down, but it is not because of the expansion project.

Those trees will likely be cut down in the next month, and the modular classrooms will be built during the fall so students can start using them after the winter break.

Meanwhile, plans exist to build a new front entrance of the school and a new building on the part of the sunken field that now has the classroom trailers.

That expansion will cause two historic oaks to be cut down – located at the site of where the new front entrance will be. Much of the rest of the sunken field will be turned into a surface parking lot for 87 cars.

These two large oak trees are slated to be cut down if the current Grady High expansion plans are realized (Photo by Maria Saporta)

But the most offensive part of the plan involves turning Grady’s historic front lawn into a parking lot with 30 spaces for visitors and handicapped parking lot – a move that would involve cutting down even more trees. Currently, visitor and handicapped parking is along Charles Allen Drive.

“We will be replacing the trees inch for inch,” Hardy said. “I don’t love cutting down big trees.”

Grady’s front lawn – an attractive green space that’s bordered by mature trees – provides a wonderful park-like connection from the neighborhood to Piedmont Park. How could anyone believe that turning the front lawn into a surface parking lot is a good idea?

“Every design is a compromise, and every design is a challenge,” said Hardy, who said there was a design committee of stakeholders who considered several options. “This is what we encounter on our urban sites.”

The Grady expansion project also will include improvements to the historic school, which once housed both Boy’s High and Tech High. (A nice coincidence, Hardy had my father as a professor when he went to Georgia Tech).

Another shot of the two large oaks next to historic Grady building (Photo by Maria Saporta)

“We are going to fix some of the urns and fix some of the decorative concrete elements,” Hardy said. We also are going to redo the whole roof to keep the building viable.” The entire expansion project is scheduled to be completed in two years.

But the school’s grounds and connections to the surrounding community also need to be preserved.

In recent years, Grady students have been strong advocates for alternative modes of transportation. One of their fellow students – 14-year-old Alexis Hyneman – died while riding her bicycle across Monroe Drive in February, 2016. Since then, students have been promoting safer crosswalks and routes for people traveling on foot, bicycles or the numerous other micro-mobility modes now available in Atlanta.

The one common denominator is to discourage people from driving to school and needing more parking. After all, there are buses, MARTA, the BeltLine and plans for transit along the BeltLine corridor.

These two trees would be cut down as part of the Grady expansion project (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Also, APS has a pilot initiative with Trust for Public Land and Park Pride to explore the possibility of making  school grounds available to the general public during off-hours – opening up acres of green space and park-like areas to virtually every community in the city.

Turning Grady’s front lawn into a parking lot is the totally wrong message for how we want to develop into a city with a high quality of life and respect of the natural environment.

In a text to Superintendent Carstarphen, I suggested that there has to be a better solution for APS, the community and the city as a whole.

“I am open to any better ideas,” Carstarphen wrote back. (Carstarphen also shot two short videos with her phone to show me which trees are slated to be cut down – see below).

The frustrated planner in me could see turning part of the sunken field into a two-level parking deck with a green roof on top that could be used for outdoor classrooms or athletics. That would extend the beautiful front lawn to 10th Street.

There are a couple of problems with my solution.

A large trunk sewer line diagonally divides the sunken field. APS did get clearance to locate part of the new building over the sewer line, but that was an exception. Also Hardy said APS tends to avoid parking decks for security and safety reasons.

Another view of Grady High School and its front lawn (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

The visual benefits of burying parking under a green plaza is worth considering. I would have the driveway going to the deck be built over the sewer line so that it could be accessible for maintenance. Then I would reorient the addition so it goes north-south – possibly avoiding the sewer line altogether. By reorienting the addition, I also would try to see if one could save the two large oaks and integrate them into the new grand entrance to the school.

No matter what – Grady’s front lawn should not be turned into a parking lot.

If that means Grady isn’t able to add 30 more parking spaces, so be it.

Site plan for Grady High School expansion (Special: Cooper Carry)

A drawing of Grady’s plans for parking (Special: Cooper Carry)

 

Grady HS Parking Phase 1 from SaportaReport on Vimeo.

 

Grady HS Parking Lot Phase 2 from SaportaReport on Vimeo.

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Maria Saporta
Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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38 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Anne Farrisee July 30, 2019 9:49 am

    I’m a 25-year+ intown resident and parent of two APS/Grady grads. Please please NO! Grady’s older historic structures and front green space provide a beautiful transition from residential to institutional use that is a model for our city. Grady now reads as a lovely part of the neighborhood – please don’t change it into an intrusion and visual eyesore by adding a two surface parking lots!Report

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Tom Woodward July 30, 2019 10:23 am

    Good grief! Is there no level to which institutional landowners will stoop to destroy our shared tree canopy in the name of “progress?”Report

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  3. Avatar
    Dr. Gus B Kaufman Jr. July 30, 2019 10:46 am

    No tree cutting and green space destruction! How can we stop this?Report

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Robert Cain July 30, 2019 12:20 pm

    Daughter of a renowned architect, Maria knows of what she speaks and her ideas for options are worthy of consideration. I presume the architect is considering permeable pavers or a permeable surface for these new lots. If the grass grows up in the permeable pavers, you might still have a green “lawn” effect for a visual but I agree that more impermeable surfaces in that neighborhood are a terrible idea and will increase what is already a run-off problem…witness the ongoing run-off disaster at the intersection of 8th and Vedado.Report

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  5. Avatar
    Steven Lindsay July 30, 2019 12:29 pm

    The statement “more facilities means more parking” demonstrates the flawed, knee-jerk, unimaginative, uninformed and lazy attitude of those promoting this. How about providing safe sidewalks, cycle lanes, skooter parking, a free shuttle bus, a ride share service, a commuting app, wage bonus or free Marta pass to those foregoing reserved parking etc etc. There are SO MANY other options to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.Report

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  6. Avatar
    Dr. Malcolm D. Williams July 30, 2019 12:37 pm

    I am an alumnus of Grady HS–and I cannot imagine the historic and architectural grandeur of this institution being destroyed simply to create a few more parking spaces. Even though I graduated from Grady HS over 40 years ago–I still get a chill when I pass this majestic structure with its well manicured front lawn; and I realize that much of my success and life long friendships began here. I seriously doubt that I would have the same response with a front lawn that has been turned into a cement parking lot with tall light poles and full of cars. Progress–at what price.Report

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  7. Avatar
    Morningsider July 30, 2019 12:46 pm

    Maria,

    Thank you for highlighting this potentially devastating plan by APS and Grady High School. Taxpayers should be up in arms over a plan to replace a lawn and trees with an asphalt parking lot.Taxpayers have already agreed to fund BeltLine rail, complete streets for Monroe and numerous other transportation initiatives that would provide alternatives to vehicular travel to Grady. City of Atlanta has failed to build the initiatives. Why not let teachers park in the lot behind Park Tavern? It’s rarely used during school days. Only a failure of leadership and a school system that is too well funded could come up with a plan to pave its lawn. Let’s roll back millage rates and go back to the drawing board on parking alternatives.Report

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  8. Avatar
    intown parent July 30, 2019 1:11 pm

    Yes they are lovely but not every tree cut down is a tragedy worth a news story. The city is getting denser and land is expensive. There is not the political will or tax payer dollars to build a new in town high school. For goodness sake it’s a stone throw to Piedmont Park so folks (and their dogs) won’t be too inconvenienced. Va Hi neighbors already had their entitled save-the-trees-and-‘our’-dog-park moment in stopping the expansion of Inman MS. Just wait until they realize that what they’ll get instead of MS students (most of whole take the bus or walk) is ES student parents driving from across the cluster. We should be thankful that Grady is the public HS in such demand….adds considerably to your property values even if it detracts from Maria’s view.Report

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  9. Avatar
    Diane Barnwell July 30, 2019 1:27 pm

    So where exactly should everyone park? Most teachers don’t and cannot afford to live within walking or biking distance of the school. Parking is crucial here.Report

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  10. Avatar
    Kim Cobb July 30, 2019 1:37 pm

    As a future Grady parent to four students currently at Inman and Morningside, I hope that they can find another solution.
    For one, I see potentially hundreds of spaces dedicated to student parking, whereas APS only must provide parking to teachers and staff. Why can’t Grady students either walk/bike or ride the bus to and from school? This would seem to be a big part of the solution – ban student parking at Grady, and have them access any of a large number of transit options in the heart of Midtown. This would help the Grady community embrace non-car-transit options and prioritize safety around the building, instead of contributing to congestion around Grady. I think it’s time to assess the sanity of eliminating green space for what is essentially optional student parking.Report

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  11. Avatar
    Hedy July 30, 2019 1:44 pm

    I think 3 level deck parking over existing parking do the trick! And, I don’t believe it would hinder the landscape. As for adding more square footage, go beneath the ground like the 8th st wing!Report

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  12. Avatar
    Sally Flocks July 30, 2019 3:21 pm

    Those who recommend a multi-story or underground parking garage need to be aware that building a single parking space in a garage costs about $25,000. And the cost of building an underground parking space is more than double. Is that how you want tax dollars to be used? Also, free parking is a magnet for driving. Require students who want to drive to school to purchase a parking permit, comparable to the $672 annual or $5 single use fee charged by Emory University. Doing so will motivate a large share of students to use other transportation modes.Report

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  13. Avatar
    James Reese July 30, 2019 3:51 pm

    Please build additional parking! I’ve attended events at the school and the parking is atrocious. The residents around Piedmont Park do not want you near their homes so the only solution is to build additional parking. Public transportation is not an option for me. Yes! it’s about time. A few years ago an elderly lady was killed crossing the street near Monroe after attending a football game. That tragedy should have brought this discussion forth sooner.Report

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  14. Avatar
    Courtney July 30, 2019 3:57 pm

    To respond to the the prospective parent’s suggestion to ban student parking..:that would make it nearly impossible for most kids (who live at the edges of the district/without viable and safe access to walk or bike) to participate in before or after school activities such as sports, clubs, tutoring, and theatre. My child took the bus until she started sports, clubs and became a tutor for other students, making it impossible to ride the bus 4 out of five days. We live too far to walk/bike and with dangerous roads as our route. We envy the kids from Candler Park, Inman Park, and Old Fourth Ward who can get to school swiftly and safely. My neighborhood is not on the belt line, nor does it have bike lanes. A parking deck like the one built for the Atlanta Botanical Garden would be the best use of the steep hill at Charles Allen and 10th. It can be camouflaged with live plants, given a living wall/roof or solar panels could top it, making it sustainable. Last year, I noticed that almost every public and private school in the San Francisco Bay Area has solar panels over the parking lot…win/win situation! Dr. Bockman has already shown an interest in the solar-panel parking lot! As for safety concerns about having a parking deck…have a full gate and locked doors only accessible by keycard that has been purchased from APS and car tag and student/staff parker registered with the school. Removing the last bit of green space on campus for 30 spaces doesn’t solve anything.Report

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  15. Avatar
    George July 30, 2019 4:48 pm

    Also look at the awful planning of putting the new parking spaces adjacent to the sidewalks, and the new building accessed via parking and not the street. Similar philosophically is the amount of dead space around the stadium—with premier Beltline and Midtown Promenade facing frontage. APS is supposedly broke, but imagine how much revenue they could bring in by leasing that sidewalk-facing space around the stadium to build small 1 – 2 story retail/commercial buildings.Report

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  16. Avatar
    Doug Monroe July 30, 2019 7:26 pm

    Sue them until the cows come home!Report

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  17. Avatar
    Virginia L. Sikes July 30, 2019 11:25 pm

    Please leave as is. It is soooooo beautiful to have some green left in all the progress around it. Not a good plan at all.Report

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  18. Avatar
    DANA IVEY July 31, 2019 1:36 am

    As a graduate of Grady almost 60 years ago, I abhor this proposal. Granted, Grady has not really looked like the Grady I knew for a while now. While I hear the comments saying that parking is desperately needed, I really don’t want to see that green space lost — or trees. Living in New York, I cherish every bit of green I can get. in the 50’s, we car-pooled to school, and usually took the bus home (and had to transfer — took some time, but hey, that’s life). Or we walked home, thru Piedmont Park and on — a nearly 45- minute walk. Does no one walk or take the bus anyone?Report

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  19. Avatar
    Carol B July 31, 2019 10:05 am

    Yes there are many other options and I urge they be considered–some good ones listed above. And why can’t parking be reserved for carpoolers? Like the awful plans for the Ponce Library, it seems the first option is often to just mow down trees. We can do better.Report

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  20. Avatar
    Chelsea Zakas July 31, 2019 11:36 am

    (In advance, I apologize for the grammar and spelling typos. This is an email reply of my thoughts and opinion on the subject I sent to my dad, a Grady alum)

    I really hope they don’t turn that front lawn into a parking lot.

    There’s so much wrong with this 🙁 maybe if other Atlanta Public Schools received even a quarter of the funding that Grady did, then families with children wouldn’t need to move into the Grady district to send their kids there, thus overcrowding the school system causing the need for expansion. I know it’s all about the tax base in the surrounding area of the schools, and that’s why every other school district in Atlanta has such poor funding and barely any resources and no one wants to send their kids to those schools so they move to better school districts and then those schools get over crowded. but then some people can’t afford to move and so some kids just have to go to the worse schools and they don’t have the same resources to get a better education. UGH. It’s such a vicious cycle it makes me furious.

    other schools need better funding, so less people have to move into the Grady district. They shouldn’t even have to consider ripping up those old Oak trees and turning that beautiful green space into a parking lot. I hope they don’t do it… additional parking spaces is not going to fix the problem, the problem is inequity which is forcing too many people to move into the Grady district, the problem is so much deeper.Report

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  21. Avatar
    Toni Crockett July 31, 2019 1:46 pm

    Thank you, Maria Saporta.
    When I was in my 20’s I taught in a big city high school which had no parking. Guess what , we teachers and staff took public transport and walked to work each day and delivered our daily lessons, rain or shine. Most of my grading of tests and homework was done on public busses and subways. Did I miss my car? No, I did not. Would I have taken a job at another school where I could park? Why, just to avoid public transport? Removing green space so that workers can avoid public transport is illogical, don’t you think?
    I live on Tenth Street and I walk to the Midtown Station and ride Marta. Busses travel Tenth Street regularly. My car remains parked so much that I may sell it soon. We are in the midst of global warming and public transport is the future, not a paved Midtown.Report

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  22. Avatar
    Danny Pentecost July 31, 2019 4:36 pm

    Put a parking lot in what’s left of Piedmont Park. I think the little darlings should be able to negotiate the dangers of crossing 10th Street.Report

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  23. Avatar
    Lane July 31, 2019 4:39 pm

    If the front lawn is put off limits and more parking is required some bright engineer will come up with another way to solve the problem. The first step is to have the political will to put the front lawn off limits in the name of preserving a cherished site.Report

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  24. Avatar
    jon carlisle July 31, 2019 6:26 pm

    Grady + Lazy one in same. And before we worry about green, let’s address guns, and those select inner city scum masquerading as students carrying.Report

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  25. Avatar
    Stan July 31, 2019 6:27 pm

    What about leasing the parking lot where the movie theater is as an interim solution?Report

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  26. Avatar
    urban gardener July 31, 2019 7:51 pm

    I saw the WSB tv piece on this few days back, wish i’d written down the numbers because things don’t quite make sense.
    The anticipated growth of the student population seemed relatively small, around 200 -??? Would a parent/teacher/staffer please weigh in with the demographic projections? Is the white growth expected to be off-set by the impending loss of Section 8 in the district?
    Two, which was just mind boggling, was the numbers given for parking. I believe the current # of spaces is under 200. Reporter stated APS policy calls for one space for each teacher and staffer, which would come in at nearly 700 spaces -???
    Right now, there is not much overflow parking into the neighborhood adjoining streets, granted folks stack up in the 8th St lot, but it’s not like there are 100 cars with no place to go, never mind 100’s of cars with no place to call home. So this huge need of parking for all these new teachers and staffers, when the growth numbers given by the reporter were no where near even 500 students, just make no sense. I’ve heard GHS is short on ADA requirements for parking but without a clear delineation of what’s short by Fed law and what’s just APS thinking every admin person needs their own personal parking space it’s hard to be anywhere near sympathetic.
    It also smells seriously bad that the process is this far along and no one from APS has bothered to trot in front of the neighborhood for a neighborly head’s up. This whole notion that it’s only those people with kids who constitute the community that APS has to do a song and dance for is really insulting, considering residents in spitting distance have their property values strongly impacted by an APS school, and APS takes 52% of our property tax dollars, and gee guess what I think they’re looking to jack their take again -?Report

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  27. Avatar
    J Crocker July 31, 2019 10:17 pm

    There’s a bus that runs by Grady every half hour until 12:15 AM: https://itsmarta.com/36.aspx. MARTA used to run special trips to/from Grady from Midtown until, I think, the service cuts in 2009 or 10 when the 45 was replaced with the 36.

    Growing up, I sometimes took the public bus from my elementary school on occasion.Report

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  28. Avatar
    Zac Pasmanick July 31, 2019 11:50 pm

    How horrible to turn the front yard into a parking lot. Close Charles Allen and turn that into the parking lot.
    Zac Pasmanick
    Class of 72Report

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  29. Avatar
    Daniel Gross August 2, 2019 12:44 am

    As a graduate of Grady (class of 1960), I would hate to see the front lawn of our lovely old school transformed into a parking lot. The original GHS building should be landmarked along with the surrounding Green space. There are other ways of transporting teachers and staff to the school. The proposed parking lot would disfigure the school building and deprive Atlanta of precious green space. Don’t let this happen.Report

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  30. Avatar
    Lori London August 2, 2019 8:55 pm

    BEFORE replacing green space with “other”, someone (ie the school board) should drive to Dunwoody and take a look at how AWFUL the new portable classrooms are – right on the corner of what used to house several trees. The board “snuck” in during the summer, eliminated the trees, brought in the classrooms in a VERY shortsighted ‘solution’ to increasing enrollment. Just my 2 cents from an OTP observer…Report

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  31. Avatar
    Silence Dogood August 4, 2019 5:20 pm

    A Decision to Make at Grady High School

    There is a decision to be made regarding the upcoming additions and changes at Grady High School. The original building was designed by renowned Atlanta architect Phillip Shutze in the 1920s and has been added to and modified many times over the past +/- 90 years. As with any significant change there are those for it and those in opposition. Here are a few thoughts and facts to help put it in perspective.

    The plan on the table for the project was developed after over a year of exhaustive effort and with the input and consensus of a Blue Ribbon committee made up of the school principal, teachers, educators, parents, neighbors and Board Members.

    You have a design completed by an internationally renowned architectural team with deep ties to the Atlanta architectural community and respect for its history. The three Board Members and the rest of those on the design committee have endorsed the plan. The plan meets the budget, the needs and can be delivered in a reasonable time.

    The solution overcomes the constraints and logistical challenges of one to the most traveled and stressed areas in the city. The plan was developed by the same school system that has successfully designed and delivered award winning projects such as Springdale Park ES, E. Rivers ES, N. Atlanta HS, Mays HS and Maynard Jackson HS.

    Yes, a few tree may be removed for the improvements, but many more will be planted in their place as part of a well thought out landscaping plan. Most of those to be removed are only +/- 20 years old. Some make it sound as if your are clear cutting an old growth forest. Progress has consequences and costs.

    Based on various conversations that have begun to swirl, some people seem to believe this is going to be a mega Wall Mart shopping center with a “sea of parking”. Yes, a few parking places are planned to be located near the front door of the school. Parking for deliveries, mail, the disabled, sick students, anxious parents near the front door. How horrible?

    Some say Shutze vision will be destroyed. Well if you examine the history, Shutze vision was never built as he intended it. Money ran out, plans were altered, administrations changed, who knows, but Grady was never built the way he planned. Many buildings have been demolished and additions made to the campus as needed over the past 90+ years and here we are again.

    Others are acting as if Grady is some sort of ancient artifact or museum. While a fine piece of classic architecture that should be admired and cared for, Grady is a working public building that is a tool for the educators and students in Atlanta. It has worked for almost 100 years and with a few improvements can work for another.

    After years of struggling with lack of sufficient space, access, building identity there is a solution at hand. It’s easy to sit on the outside a throw out darts and second guess the process and the people that were in the ring trying to make a difference. Just because you disagree with the plan or don’t like it doesn’t mean it is wrong. You could you continue to design forever and still have pros and cons about any solution. If you want to make a few minimal adjustments to this design as it is completed to make it that much better then do so. At some point you’ve got to pick a road and take it.

    The truth is we need a solution now and we have one, a good one. Let’s embrace the new Grady, move forward make it better and be thankful. Grady Forever!

    Silence DogoodReport

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  32. Avatar
    Rufus Godwin August 4, 2019 9:05 pm

    Silence,

    It was great to see you Saturday night. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do for the Class of “59.

    Grady Forever!Report

    Reply
  33. Avatar
    gonzo90 August 5, 2019 12:18 pm

    Those of you suggesting a parking deck need to remember that the school would be responsible for security in the new facility. I have heard that APS has a policy against parking decks for that reason. Remember government owned schools don’t make decisions like the rest of us.Report

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  34. Avatar
    Teresa Mayes August 5, 2019 7:56 pm

    As a board member in 2009-2010 for Grounds Committee I was under the impression that Grady High School grounds were part of an arboretum. Trees Atlanta was helping make this happen. Cutting diseased trees is part of maintenance. But creating parking lots, especially in a city trying to create green space, is not an answer to relieving parking pressure. And creating more impermeable surfaces is not helping the sewer/rainwater run off problems our city faces. Especially when Grady High School occupies land so close to Clear Creek.Report

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  35. Avatar
    Jessica Lavandier August 5, 2019 11:27 pm

    APS is having a community meeting to discuss the Grady expansion plans on Wednesday August 21 starting at 6:30 in the theatre. Please attend and share your concerns over the proposal to turn the front lawn into a parking lot. In addition, please contact the Atlanta Board of Education members and the Superintendent.
    Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, Superintendent [email protected]
    District 1: Leslie Grant [email protected]
    District 3: Michelle D. Olympiadis [email protected]
    District 4: Nancy Meister [email protected]
    District 5: Erika Mitchell [email protected]
    District 6: Eshé P. Collins | Board Vice-Chair [email protected]
    At-Large Seat 7: Kandis Wood Jackson [email protected]
    At-Large Seat 8: Cynthia Briscoe Brown [email protected]
    At-Large Seat 9: Jason Esteves | Board Chair [email protected]Report

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  36. Avatar
    Gary Ratner August 12, 2019 5:50 pm

    So much of the planning effort is focused on parking that it seems like a substantial oversight that the design team did not present any image rendering a group of cars parked on the front lawn area. That would have helped in evaluating the the visual impact of the proposal.

    I took a stab at it myself, using site photographs I took earlier today from a spot on the sidewalk, the from elevation as rendered by Cooper Carry, SketchUp, and Photoshop. It’s a bit crude, but I think it is pretty close to accurate. Sorry, I parked the cars right on the grass. But they are on the right place. You may view it at:

    https://tinyurl.com/GradyParking

    Interestingly, one of the crude features of my sketch comes from the designers’ inclusion in their elevation of “ghosted in” profiles of trees, specifically the large row of trees that stand over 150 feet in from the front of the building. What might have been more revealing would have been to similarly “ghost in” a few dozen cars that will lie between the row of trees and the building.Report

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  37. Avatar
    Brian Kish August 21, 2019 12:13 pm

    We placed trailers in Inman’s fields around 2013 – they are still there.
    We were told that the Grady renovation – delayed due to the Howard/Inman/Morningside checkers game – would begin in 2018.
    We saw in 2015 Grady’s architectural plans with a new gym, renovated theatres, and parking decks and now APS want to under-deliver on the school facilities and cut down trees and delay the project start once again.
    Grady continues to be the red-headed stepchild of APS, with every new project coming ahead of Grady for one reason or another.
    APS – do the right thing, this cluster has been waiting a long time for improvements to our high school; bring Grady’s facilities up to par with Grady’s high performance NOW!Report

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  38. Avatar
    Tiffany P. January 10, 2020 10:32 am

    I went to Grady HS from 1989-1992 and whenever I think back to my high school days, many of my fondest memories involve Grady’s front lawn. We had lunch here, sitting cross-legged in the grass. Our friends played tag football and Hacky Sack here. After school, we held drill team practice here. Year book club pictures were taken here. Thousands of memories were made on this lawn and among these trees that will now be nothing but concrete. It is heartbreaking. So, I hope that whoever ends up parking there thinks about the fond memories that they are driving on top of. All for the sake of progress, right? Disappointing decision-making.Report

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