Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Plans shape up for Bethany Bend high.

by Candy Waylock / Appen Newspapers

November 04, 2009 Milton — Architects gave a first glimpse of the proposed Bethany Bend high school site last week, showing off the building and site plans during the first community information meeting before a crowd of about 150.

The school will be situated on a 65-acre parcel. However, 25 acres will remain undisturbed. Nearly half of the usable acreage will be used for the athletic fields, open grassy areas and landscape. These dimensions, noted Frank Destadio of the Parsons construction firm, are in line with other high schools in the area.

The $70 million school can house up to 1,900 students and is on schedule to open in the fall of 2012. It will relieve overcrowded conditions at Milton High School, which is projected to have nearly 2,800 students by 2011.

While the building is essentially Johns Creek High School, the Bethany site will have its own "signature" similar to Milton's columns and Johns Creek's clock tower. Early drawings show a front façade similar to a ski lodge, with heavy beams, dark woods and stone accents.

Its look will mirror somewhat the Kings Ridge Christian School compound directly across the street, which was designed by the same architects.

Selecting a signature look for a high school is a relatively new standard for Fulton Schools, which began using community design committees when Milton was built several years ago. Prior to that, architects drew up plans and submitted them for approval to the board with little community input.

"We are not trying to put the Johns Creek High School here in Milton," said Destadio. "This is your school, and it's important you let us know how you want it to look."

Outside of the façade, however, the inside will mirror the other high schools, following educational specifications approved by the school system.

The Bethany Bend high school site will be a two-story building incorporating a "Main Street" design to connect all the major assembly areas with lots of natural light. A new feature of the school will be the "sports complex," which can seat up to 3,700 spectators and accommodate football, soccer, track and field, softball, baseball, lacrosse and tennis.


Anonymous said...

Longoria didn't bother to show up for this meeting which is in his district that is going to greatly affect the communities over there with traffic and redistricting. I guess he didn't care what the layout is, how traffic is going to be mitigated, or what the building will look like. Nice representation. Too busy to show up.

Anonymous said...

Another school? It is a circus act just to get home in the afternoons. I can only imagine what it will be like when this goes in.
We had thought about relocating about a year ago and changed our minds. Now it looks as though we will be moving afterall.
Bye Bye Milton!

Anonymous said...

Again this was a citizen meeting for information and input, not for council to show up. The city council and Longoria have already met with the boe. Tina and Julie just didn't get the memo.

Anonymous said...

Julie and Tina are teachers and parents of children who attend our schools. They don't need a memo to tell them what their responsibilities are.

Anonymous said...

Longoria has not assumed office and is not a Council Member.
So why would he be included in a meeting with Council and the BOE, and the likes of Tina and specifically JZB be left out?

If it's true then it's a further reflection on the lack of integrity of our City Council.

Anonymous said...

7:04 poster

Tina and JZB are on council so if there were meetings with council they were probably included - they are also two of the biggest reasons the school is being shoe-horned into a space it should not be

the boe is a joke and it is shame this school is being put on this site

where are 5000 people going to park for Friday night football or any big event? 700 spaces???

the state will help some with the roads but we all know the job won't get done right and the roads will be a disaster

better yet where are the students and teachers going to park everyday when the trailers get added in a few years - because we all know there will be trailers

the school system is joke

many great teachers, etc but the admin is a just an embarassment

17 million for 120 acres that they find out after the fact they can't use for the HS

then 20 million more for 70 acres and they find out after the fact that they can't use 25 of them

didn't anyone at the boe think to do some due diligence before spending 37 million on land that doesn't work?

so the new site is too small and they are using it anyway - one practice field for all sports to share???? 700 spaces????

the boe spent 37 million for bad land and they can't afford buses for field trips? I don't care if the money comes from different budgets - they are idiots wasting our money

there will be over 5000 students probably closer to 6000 or 7000 (with the trailers added)on a 1/4 mile stretch of Cogburn rd. with the 5 schools located together. That is equal in size to many small colleges. On a two lane rd that also happens to be one of the only routes for Cherokee and forsyth county residents (never mind 1/3 of Milton) to get to 400.

someone at the boe needs to go and the take clueless long grey haired lady with them

Anonymous said...

maybe they can add a foot bridge over to the Publix parking lot so the kids can park there and also get fast access to the liquor store

the brilliant Katy Reeves - what would be do without her

Anonymous said...

At least the Freemanville equestrian-centric homeowners are happy with the outcome

Anonymous said...

They need to paint those ugly water towers

JZB said...

It's not the real JZB but click on her initials for a reminder of how Julie, Tina and Alan used their positions on City Council to force Katie Reeves and the BOE to move the school from Freemanville Road. This resolution was in response to legal actions and a petition started by a wealthy Freemanville Road landowner to move the school “near a major traffic artery such as Highway 9.” Don't blame Katie Reeves, blame your own City Council.

Anonymous said...

Know your facts. The group that formed to potentially take legal action against the BOE for choosing property in a Watershed, on a Creek which feeds Little River, The Coosa and then onto Lake Allatoona consisted of over 100 people, not a wealthy land owner. No legal action was ever proceeded with or taken whatsoever. And this group of people wanted the school to go back to the old Milton High School site, not placed at Bethany and Cogburn. The BOE is the one who looked at the Bethany Cogburn property as their first choice, but since Chatham at the time wanted to build a sr. citizen rettirement community they decided to take Freemanville instead. Once the BOE realized that they could not fit 2 schools on septic on that property, and the City Resolution to look at other properties for this school on SEWER, they went back to their original choice, Bethany and Cogburn, because Chatham wanted to dump it. That's the facts jack. Council had no say so whatsoever in what the BOE chooses to do or not to do, wish they did, but they don't. They can only plead with the BOE due to the BOE's jurisdiction.

The Petition said...

The fact is the petition was started by the wealthy landowner who lives across the street from the site. (Click on "The Petition" to view.)

The old Milton HS site is less than 50 acres and has never been a real alternative. This site was rejected by the BOE because of its size when new Milton HS was built.

It was the City Council's resolution (pushed by JZB) and the threat of extended legal action (backed by a deep-pocketed landowner) that forced the BOE to move the site.

Anonymous said...

8:09: I only saw the mayor's signature on the resolution.

Anonymous said...

During the campaigns there was a lot said about funds contributed by developers, yet no scrutiny of the wealthy equestrian-centric landowners who bankrolled the campaigns of JZB and the puppets. Why are the land barons of Freemanville and Birmingham Roads allowed to buy influence?

Anonymous said...

I think the whole council votes to approve it but only the mayor signs it.

So wait, sewer is good and septic is bad for schools? We'd better run some sewer lines to Summit Hill and Birmingham Falls to save our delicate ecosystem.

Anonymous said...

So instead of building two schools on the old property - a HS needed now and a MS they don't need for the forseeable future - they choose to build the HS which needs the most land on the new smaller site.

Why not build the HS on the 100+ acre site and find a much cheaper alternative for the MS in the future. Nooooo...that makes too much sense - they simply went and spent 20 Million on a much smaller site that will be too small for the HS While the 17 Million much larger site sits empty on freemanville reserved for a MS that will be much smaller. Sounds logical to me.

The Cogburn site was to be a great tax generator for the city and instead it will cost us a small fortune to improve around it for the school.

Yes City Council is too blame but it certainly appears the BOE did little to no planning prior to buying 37 Million in property and neither site fits their/our needs properly.

I have an idea. Lets swap the 200 acre Birmingham Park Site for the two school sites and build both schools up there. Then the City can build the park on one of the two sites and sell the other for something that generates income.

Yeah the wealthy horse owners will complain but their political voice was just cut down to size last week.

Anonymous said...

They can't build the HS on the 117 acres on Freemanville because it was proven in the private engineer study that only 60% of the entire property is usable due to the creek, streams, lake and set backs and buffers and topogrophy. Plus they would be putting millions of gallons of septic in the ground monthly, in a watershed, on a creek, on top of intermittent streams. They should have looked at that before they purchased it but they did not do any DUE Diligence on it. The Old MHS site was a ligitimate site, but the BOE would have none of it since the BS line was that they couldn't move those kids there out. However, even Jan Jones said they could have at the time moved the kids into the abandoned Kingsridge location in the strip mall, which is now being used for Alpharetta City offices. Even she said that the BOE could re do the Old Milton HS for the need of the Alpharetta students.
The reason Milton is getting a new school is not because of Milton student population. Tim is right, they are building the new HS on Bethany to shift Milton kids out, and put more Roswell and Alph kids in. Patrick Burke and Katie Reeves stated this at the meeting on the new Bethany school a few weeks ago.

They also discussed how some families will have kids at both HS's, and how Katie thinks that's such a great idea to have 2 children from the same family attending 2 different High Schools.

The petition had over 500 signatures from Milton. And the Mayor, yes Mayor Lockwood headed the charge for the Resolution, and it was unanimously supported by all 6 council person's. As a matter of fact, Julie Zahner Bailey couldn't have been further away from the entire situation then all of them. All this group ever heard from her was, "You can't fight the BOE", "No one ever wins against the BOE". So whoever is claiming she had a hand in this is completely off base, and it is obvious you were not involved because if you were with the other 150 people behind a possible lawsuit, you would know she was not an instrument at all in fighting the school site, other then voting along with the others for the resolution, which was headed by mayor Lockwood. Too bad Candy Waylock is paid by the BOE to write whatever they want in the Milton Herald. There is such a larger story behind this that could be shared with the public, but they won't report it because then everyone would see how negligent the BOE is with our money, and how they don't care about the environment when it comes to purchasing land for schools, they buy then deal with the issues later, wasting our money. The Old MHS encompassess 70acres not 50 and is a viable solution instead of going to Bethany, but they prefer to spend tax payers money on the new HS on Bethany than go back into the old school, which they already own the property, and rebuild, or start over with a brand new building. They already own the land, so the cost of tearing it down is a wash when it comes comparing it to purchasing new land for a new school.

Too bad all the folks on the Bethany side didn't get behind the other people against the Freemanville land, because maybe if their voices had been joined, then they would have put pressure on putting the school back at Old MHS. Even City Council was completely behind the idea of going back to that old school to build a new HS. So now look. We are all unhappy about this location as well, too many schools on this road for sure, but once again, the BOE doesn't care, they are in the business of building schools, period. They are not concerned about the aftermath for the city or its residents. As long as they get that school checked off their list. That's the problem with having complete jurisiction, and no one to be held accountable to. They should be accountable to us, the taxpayers, and we should all have a major voice in where the schools go in our community.

- S. D.

Anonymous said...

Mike Stevens, how many times are you going to use the term, Land Baron's. Everyone knows its you making those comments. You are clueless to the school issues out here. You are like the rest of Liberal America, trying to make people of means look like bad peopel because they work hard for their money and for the land they have acquired. It is a good thing to own land, the more the better. It's sad you are stuck in the neighborhood mentality that only people who live in neighborhoods are residents of Milton.

Anonymous said...

Longoria should have been there at the meeting. This affects his neighborhood and his district, whether he won the election or not. He didn't show up, period. I would think someone running for office, in that district where a huge high school is going to be built, where the kids from his entire neighborhood will attend, would take an hour or two out of his campaign schedule to show up for this meeting to give feed back and comments to Patrick Burke and Katie Reeves. When is he going to meet with them, after they break ground and it's completed? too late then. The point is, he is not involved, nor engaged, and never has been in community issues. Never. Not until the gate issue of Crooked Creek came up. He never did one thing or showed up for any meeting at all in regard to this community. Don't see him reprsenting uss in the future either, but that's what they all say just to get elected anyway. Promises promises. Gonna have to curb that travel schedule.

Anonymous said...

NEW Milton HS was built on a 70-acre site.

OLD Milton HS (now called Milton Center) sits on a 42-acre site and houses Independence High School and the (new) Fulton Institute of Technology. The Connected Academy, which also occupied Milton Center, closed in May 2009.

Since building Milton HS, the BOE has been clear that they do not consider old Milton HS a viable site for a new HS.

The Lawsuit said...

Of course JZB was involved in getting the high school site moved from Freemanville to Cogburn.

Behind the scenes, she convinced "her good friend" Katie Reeves that another lawsuit from the Freemanville residents was inevitable and was backed by a deep-pocketed landowner. She argued that the time and money involved in extended environmental investigation and legal challenges would not be in the best interest of the BOE.

This was an easy argument to make since Freemanville residents had previously sued Fulton County to keep Kings Ridge off of Freemanville Road (click on "The Lawsuit" to read all about it.) Notice that the first lawsuit was all about school traffic. Freemanville residents did not morph into environmentalists until one of the well paid experts "discovered" the environmental angle.

In the end, both Kings Ridge and the new HS were moved from Freemanville to Cogburn Road (while District 5 representative Tina slept.)

So yes, there are land barons in Milton who use their wealth and the influence of JZB to get what they want.

- Not M.S. (just another Milton resident smart enough to figure out what's going on.)

Anonymous said...

The wood road residewnts sued john smoltz's corporation not fulton county, you were wrong again. The wood rd residents' research discovered the environmental issues not the freemanville group, their engineers confirmed all the env issues. Wrong again. You have no clue of the facts so stop making incorrect comment on something you don't know the details.

The Lawsuit said...

Read the article. So the Milton Herald ( got it wrong? Another example of the press conspiring against JZB and the puppets?

Anonymous said...

What is your purpose opf insisting julie was involved in moving the school when she wasn't, go ask those involved if she helped and see what they say. No. You have a hard on for her for some reason, get a life.

Protect Milton said...

Please click “Protect Milton” to read an email invitation to Protect Milton’s presentation to City Council on April 21, 2008.

The email indicates that City Council was given an official summary by Garrigus Consulting (paid consultants of Protect Milton) regarding the environmental issues associated with the Freemanville site. It was solely on the basis of this paid report that City Council issued its resolution on June 2, 2008 urging the BOE to move the school to a different site.

In the same email, the founder of Protect Milton states “There are sites within the City limits of the City of Milton that can be served by existing sewer facilities, which records show were never considered by the FCBOE in it's search for a site for these schools in Milton.”

Protect Milton was clearly trying to move the high school from Freemanville to Cogburn Road (not to the old Milton HS site) and JZB and the rest of the City Council knew it when they approved the resolution.

Anonymous said...

So the environmental problems in our watershed are based on high e-coli levels due to septic seepage and run-off from horse pastures? To fund our budget, we should charge environmental impact fees to septic users and horse owners.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is bliss last blogger. The first and foremost choice of Protect Milton if you READ the petition is the Old Milton High School site. Whether the BOE wanted to recognize that site or not, that was their first choice and would have pushed for that site if they went to suit. The FCBOE is the one that listed the Bethany site as it's first choice which so happened to be on sewer thanks to David Chatham. The FCBOE decided to purchase that site after the fact. In no way form or manner did Protect Milton encourage or contact the BOE to move the High School to Bethany. Rumor had it that David Chatham contacted the BOE because of his situation. The petition was never even submitted to the BOE, it was submitted to the City Council only. They moved the school before PM submitted the petition to them. No law suit was ever filed or started. I know because I am one of the 150 who donated and supported Protect Milton. You do not know what you are talking about. Since you are confused with the facts call the founder of Protect Milton and she can explain it to you in person. The BOE clearly stated in the newspaper,Milton Herald, by Candy Waylock, out of the mouth of Katie Reeves that the ONLY reason they moved the school was because they couldn't fit both the HS and MS on the land. Whether that is the truth on why they moved it we don't know, we only know what Katie Reeves stated as the reason. There was no mention at all of environmental reasons for moving the school.

So if you have a problem ( as I do, and so many others do, with the location chosen), go take it up with Katie Reeves and the BOE and stop trying to pin it on Julie Zahner Baily who had absolutely nothing to do with moving that school. The Resolution that the City produced was WEAK to put it nicely, and I would love to give them full credit but I can't.

When Protect Milton stated the BOE never considered any other site when they picked the Freemanville Site for the HS, this means due to open records, the BOE did no due diligence BEFORE they purchased the Freemanville property.(Katie Reeves) chose that site period. Get it now?? But you don't know this because you weren't involved and all you do is complain.

The issue is moot. The BOE is to blame for poor planning and poor choices, and wasting tax payer money on their poor choices. So go cry in Katie's lap unless you want to get everyone together to go and sue the BOE, it should take about a quarter of a million dollars to do.

Please don't say you are one of those people that believes everything in the paper is gospel, full truth, and nothing fabricated. Candy Waylock never reports the full story, she writes all stories in favor of the BOE, and their articles are biased. Basically the PR department for the BOE. Look for a story on CBS Atlanta, or FOX news if you want the truth on the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Protect Milton supporters are apparently suffering from the Tina disease - they don't believe their own emails!

Look again at Protect Milton's email where its founder states

“There are sites within the City limits of the City of Milton that can be served by existing sewer facilities, which records show were never considered by the FCBOE in it's search for a site for these schools in Milton.”

As you know, the old Milton HS site is in Alpharetta, not Milton, so to what sewerable site in the City of Milton is the founder of Protect Milton referring?

The Freemanville landowners, JZB and the City Council threw the east side of Milton "under the bus" and now they want to pretend it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

i wish some eager journalist would get ahp;d of this story and take it to the limit. There is so much underhanded shenanigans going on with the FCBOE it ain't even funny. If this was anywhere else USA, you can be sure the real activists would be all over it. JZB didn't even lift a finger except her middle one when the community needed her help as the main contact of the Birmingham Hopewell Alliance. That is another good story. Why didn't anyone from the BHA get involved? What happened to the BHA anyway. We can go on and on and contemplate the what ifs but there is some sensational crazy sh*t going on downtown. Lynne Riley has a big red dot right smack on her forehead. Katie Reeves. Chatham. And don't forget the guy who owned the land for both high school sites on Freemanville that the BOE purchased. Coincidence? Oh c'mon. Connect the dots for crying out loud. Some talented journalist could very easily have a good time with this. In the meantime, until that happens if ever, we're SOL.

Anonymous said...

There's no grand conspiracy.

A rich lady doesn't want a high school in her front yard so she uses her means to get it moved. If I had a multi-million dollar mansion and political influence, I would've done the same thing.

White Columns and other residents sign the rich lady's petition because they don't want the high school either. Again, I would've done the same thing in their position.

The Mayor and City Council bow to the pressure from a wealthy contributor and large group of residents and pass a resolution asking the BOE to move the high school to a site with sewer. Of course they knew it would end up at Cogburn & Bethany. It's the only site in NW Fulton that is large enough and has access to sewer.

The Mayor and City Council love to throw their hands up and blame Katie Reeves and the BOE for their troubles, but it is Milton's own officials who are most responsible for moving the high school to Cogburn & Bethany. They now have an obligation to fix the traffic mess they created.

Voters on the east side of Milton want leaders who understand their needs and will fight for them. That's why Tina lost and why there is still so much animosity towards JZB and Alan Tart.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that you want JZB and Tart to take responsibility for everything you don't like.

In this case the resolution was unanimous. Get a grip!

Anonymous said...

Tina, Alan and Julie are from districts that include many residents on the east side of Milton. So when City Council gets to vote on whether they should favor the west side and screw the east, Julie, Alan and especially Tina should have said "No" - but they didn't. They all say they represent ALL of Milton but they don't. They vote in favor of the wealthy residents of the unsewered north and west every time.

Anonymous said...

Though 6:08's overall comment is false, the blogger is right about "consistency". JZB, Tart, D'Aversa have done what they promised to do and consistently through their votes. While others claim during campaigns that they'll protect & preserve Milton and pose for pictures at stalls, in rural settings or with horses, their votes reflect otherwise. Do your homework. Read the council minutes.

Anonymous said...


Two horse farms were plowed over yesterday to make room for the new sewer plant.

It's a shame. Four more farms going out later this week. I really never imagined Milton would need 4 sewer plants for a city our size but oh well - they are the experts.

Damn those council members Thurman and Lusk. They have ruined Milton.

The development of rural Milton over the past 3 years is shameful and it all their fault - the area will never recover.

What new horror will the next 4 years bring? Gasp!

I think I am going to invest in concrete. Lord knows they will sure be pouring a lot of it in Milton soon. Maybe I'll build a plant on Redd rd. Thats a perfect spot - they will certainly approve that now that the third vote of that crazy 3 vote minority is gone.

Get a fricken clue! If council changes Milton - outside the already destroyed areas of crabapple and Hwy 9 (thank you Fulton County) the citizens will string them up. You really need to get a clue.

The only things council did was look foolish. They didn't save or destroy anything - they just embarrassed us! Hopefully common sense will prevail going forward. Not holding my breath but there is a chance now with one less goof ball. Two more going away in two years.

Then the sinister plan can really get into high gear!

sewer sewer everywhere

high rises, townhomes, apartments, 2 more walmarts, no, no , no , aaaaahhhhhh!

what do we do?

The evil Dr. Sewer strikes again - maybe James Bond can save us!

He's our only hope now!

Come out from under your bed it was only a bad dream and mis-information.

The manure pile is still there.

Our beloved Milton has not changed and will not change.