Druid Hills High School Conditions | Video of repairs

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The district has completed 93 of the 106 corrective action plan items, but says it will take until the end of December to complete the list.

DEKALB COUNTY, Georgia – It has been three months since the Georgia Department of Education released a corrective action plan for mandatory repairs to Druid Hills High School after video of the problems inside went viral at the end of the last school year.

DeKalb County Schools said they have been working all summer to make crucial repairs. 11Alive has been asking for months to come inside Druid Hills High School — and others — to see any progress for ourselves, but the district has repeatedly denied those requests.

Now we have updated photos and videos of the repairs at Druid Hills High School, but that’s because the district provided them to us.

The before and after images show snapshots of scenes highlighted by the viral video and what the school district says they look like now. The images show five areas: a peeling wall, a water fountain, outside the weight room, ceiling tiles in the girls’ bathroom, and a plaster ceiling.

A short video provided by the district shows additional shots of a bathroom interior, pipes in the ceiling and the weight room.

Senior student body president Darion Frazier told 11Alive he can see a difference entering the school this year.

“I would say it’s better than when we left. The standpipes, for the most part, have been repaired. There was no sewage coming out of the sewers outside at lunch,” he said. “I didn’t notice any mass change. I know it’s different.

In May, the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) released a corrective action plan for the school. By the time classes ended for the summer, 62 of the 106 items on the list had been marked. In mid-August, the district had 93 points crossed.

The project’s special adviser, Dr Tanzy Kilcrease, hired by GADOE, said the district should complete the last 13 repairs by the end of December.

“We are waiting on a mat. Of course, a little lighting. We replaced some lights with LED lights. So they are still working on that. There is some glazing that needs to be done, but it will be done during the modernization. And the gym floor maintenance will be done in late fall, I think, when the kids go out on break. They will do this work as it will require everyone to be out of school,” Dr Kilcrease explained.

She monitored progress with weekly status reports and occasional site visits.

“Our facilities team at the Georgia Department of Education, we conducted four site visits. So, we will check on the progress,” she said.

Dr. Kilcrease explained that over the summer, the district worked on maintenance issues at all 22 high schools and all college campuses in the district. The school board approved the contracting out of some of the work in order to have the staff to do it. There was no mention of working in elementary schools.

“They really and truly took this on board and made sure there was the same kind of process for all middle and high schools,” Dr Kilcrease said.

Meanwhile, Frazier said the district operations team isn’t the only one working through the summer. Almost every Saturday, parent and student volunteers helped make improvements at Druid Hills High.

He told 11Alive that the improvements he’s seeing now that school is back are a start, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“We obviously want the major things that were promised done,” Frazier said.

The repairs carried out over the summer were mainly cosmetic. Druid Hills’ major $50 million modernization is slated to begin this fall. School board member Marshall Orson said the project may be delayed because the board has yet to vote on the latest SPLOST VI project slate, which outlines how the project would be funded.

Orson also said that since the process usually starts with a design phase that costs a lot less, it’s possible the project could still get started on time, though that still requires school board approval.

In the meantime, State Superintendent Richard Woods plans to make another visit in September.

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