Dunwoody wants your input on a new park

DUNWOODY — Dunwoody residents will have a new park at the old Austin Elementary School site, but the city is seeking input from residents on what they would like to see there.

Demolition of the now-empty school buildings will create 12 acres of additional park space. Project information, a video presentation and public input survey can be found here: www.dunwoodyga.gov/austinplan

“With this many acres in one location, we have a lot of options moving forward,” said Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Director Brent Walker. “The space could be used for athletic facilities. It has nice wooded areas for passive use and natural surface trails. It could also be used for a future community center or indoor gymnasium.”

The city studied options for reuse and renovation of the existing buildings, but their poor condition proved both cost prohibitive and impractical. Asbestos mitigation began last week. It will be completed before demolition.

“What we’ll have after demolition is a nice open green space that the community will be able to enjoy right away,” Walker added. “We’ll also maintain two existing playgrounds and trails that are on the property while we engage with the community and consider what’s next.”

The public input survey, available through Nov. 6, offers a range of options from passive parks to programmed recreation to new construction. Some would require additional funding to support.

The City acquired the former Austin site in a 2016 land swap agreement with the DeKalb County School District. DeKalb Schools took land just south of Austin for a new school at Dunwoody Park, where Dunwoody Senior Baseball ran programs on two baseball fields. In exchange, the City took the former Austin site and a portion of the Peachtree Charter Middle School property, where two new baseball fields were built.

The City leased the elementary school back to the district until the new Austin was ready to open in January 2020.

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