DeKalb School Board votes against major renovations to Druid Hills High

At the eleventh hour, the board voted to extend a renovation plan earmarked for Druid Hills High School to schools across the district.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:41 PM EDT
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STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (CBS46) - Renovations are coming to Druid Hills High School – just not all of the ones students called for in a recent video they published.

Last week, students filmed the conditions inside the DeKalb County high school – highlighting alleged leaking, raw sewage pooling, exposed wires and rampant mold.

“Mold, water damage, disgusting gross smells, raw sewage, it’s gross and it’s unacceptable,” said Clare Finnerty, a senior at Druid Hills High School.

Finnerty was one of roughly forty students and parents who rallied outside district headquarters on Monday.

“We have such significant systems break down where patchwork repairs can’t cut it at this point,” said Maria Gutierrez, a parent.

At the eleventh hour, the school board voted to extend a renovation plan earmarked for Druid Hills High School to schools across the district.

The amendment was spear-headed by board member Anna Hill.

With a 5-3 vote, multiple board members said this vote will ensure multiple schools – outside of just Druid Hills High School – will benefit.

“What Druid Hills is going through, yup, it is bad. But other schools are going through the same thing,” said Dr. Joyce Morley.

It’s still unclear exactly which renovation projects the district will prioritize as part of this latest vote.

Board member Dierdre Pierce said sewage shortfalls and concerns over ADA standards will be addressed with this renovation vote.

“This was all made up at the last minute,” said board member Marshall Orson, who had two kids attend Druid Hills High School.

Orson challenged that crucial issues at Druid Hills will still not be addressed.

“It’s really sad that we’re willing to expose this group of kids to condition which I think would be unacceptable to anywhere else,” said Orson.

A spokesperson for the district said that the school board is expected to address the specifics of the renovation plan, including the funding source and timetable for construction in the coming days.

“I think they learned that life is unfair in many respects, but that you have to persevere,” said Orson when asked how students and rallying parents should react to the board’s vote.