Inman Middle Overcrowding Study Reviews 3 Possible Sites

The study commission by the Virginia-Highland Civic Association found that of the three sites it reviewed, a site in the Old Fourth Ward would be the most suitable for a Middle School Academy.


An analysis of three possible sites for a new Middle School Academy found that the former David T. Howard High School in the Old Fourth Ward "is the best-suited location of the three in terms of its ability to absorb the proposed Middle School Academy use without causing the quality of life of the adjacent community to erode."

The study was commissioned by the Virginia-Highland Civic Association as part of the community's effort to take an active part in Atlanta Public Schools' discussions about how to relieve crowding at Inman Middle School.

As the nine-page report states, "this analysis has been limited to a review of the three sites provided through the most recent work of the Inman Capacity Task Force." The three sites include Inman Middle School, the Howard site and an area at 10th Street and Monroe Drive. [The complete text of the study is in the PDF attached to this article.]

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association has not taken an official position and the Association stressed that the study should not be seen as endorsement of any of the three sites.

The study looked at several factors in reaching its conclusion:

  • Traffic Congestion
  • Traditional Neighborhood Balance
  • Future Land Use Impact
  • Comprehensive Plan Implications

A brief summary of the results shows that in terms of traffic, the 10th and Monroe location would be the worst because it already has more than three times as much traffic as the other two sites.

The report was done by Aaron Fortner, a principal of East Atlanta-based Market + Main.

None of the three locations really fared well in the Future Land Use Impact category.

"Of the three sites, only Irwin Street functions as a street compatible with single family uses. In the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, both Virginia Avenue and Monroe Drive currently operate with many thousands of vehicular trips more than Irwin Street, and as such, are ill-suited for further development that is counter to wishes of the neighborhood."

The final category was the Comprehensive Plan Implications and is based on the City of Atlanta's "Comprehensive Development Plan". According to the report's analysis:

All three sites are within areas defined as Traditional Neighborhoods today. But only Virginia Avenue and Monroe Drive have traffic levels that threaten the re-classification of these portions of their respective communities to Corridors. The ramifications of this type of policy change to the greater Virginia-Highland neighborhood would be drastic and would threaten the viability of the historic land use patterns that exist to this day.

The report said that the Old Fourth Ward location is the best suited of the three studied because:

  • Locating the Middle School Academy at either of the two Virginia-Highland locations would not be in the best interest of the long standing vision and goals of the City or the neighborhood.
  • The neighborhood is highly desirable due to its strong quality-of-life offerings within the context of a single-family neighborhood. Efforts must be exerted to preserve the delicate balance of density and traffic that give the neighborhood a defining quality while posing its greatest future threat.
  • The former Howard School Old Fourth Ward site is the best-suited location of the three in terms of its ability to absorb the proposed Middle School Academy use without causing the quality of life of the adjacent community to erode.
FamilyOfFour February 15, 2013 at 07:11 PM
My idea of a "great" school is that my child can go to a class where there are kids that behave most of the time and where they have a proper environment for learning. My child will succeed regardless if the teacher is good or bad. My child has parents that can help them with homework, etc.. All I am asking for is a physical place where my child is not going to be surrounded by kids going crazy in class and getting into fights and the fear of a gun coming to school. I dont think i should have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars just for my child to be in a class where there is enough room for kids to sit at desks and a handfull of kids not talking, yelling, etc... I would rather just give the school some money for more hands on security to keep the handful of kids that are ruining it for the rest. If a classroom is out of control, send a resource officer to yank them out of class and they can do their work in a detention like setting. keep them out of that class and teach them the proper way to act. Kids that act like hooligans need to be singled out and taught how to act. It isnt fair that teachers are forced to police these kids. If we let them act like that, they will ALWAYS act like that and cost taxpayers more and more money. Dont let a few kids ruin it for the rest. I pay high taxes for that school, it belongs to me and other hard working families.
Tkr Smith February 16, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Wasn't there a huge neighborhood battle against a new middle school? A 6th grade "academy" that is in a different location is really a different school. Kids have to travel, different teachers, different schedule and so on. The traffic with buses and cars traveling all the way through the current middle school neighborhood and back would cancel out "benefit" from having it so far away from the current location where so many of the kids walk. The long term cost to renovate and maintain an academy, buses, administration etc. may cancel out the cost of adding on to the current school. The current group of parents considering private school will all be driving quite far, adding to the traffic as well. Grady High School seems to suffer from a space management issue. Having been in the building many times, it seems like the current configuration of the building could be changed to more comfortably accommodate the student population. They have also had trailers in the same spot for years, why not add a two or three story building in that area to help them reduce crowding as well? Then it seems like everyone wins. Students stay together, the neighborhoods stay in the schools they want, APS doesn't have to renovate and maintain a new building far from the current middle school and its activities and so on....
momofboys February 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM
APS needs to make all schools excellent... More and more studies are showing the benefits of children going to walkable schools that are supported by the community, parents, & a strong leadership team. Here’s an article from Atlantic Monthly’s on-line cities mag: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/02/kids-who-walk-or-bike-school-concentrate-better-study-shows/4585/#.URFdXVUmXhc.email IF the Grady cluster wasn't one of the few "good" public schools out there Inman wouldn’t be overcrowded. Until APS invests in real change for all schools, we're going to waste time, money, support, and we'll ultimately lose students who can go elsewhere. It would be really sad to have neighborhood kids going to different private schools simply because APS didn't do what is really needed. If we decreased the number of students attending the school, Inman wouldn't have a problem, nor would Grady for that matter. If we made the surrounding schools truly excellent, kids going to schools which are actually closer to them, wouldn't be a problem. Plus it would save money & make a lesser carbon foot print by not needing as many busses… aren’t we being told our youngest kids need to go to school at 7:30 because busses driving all over town is so hard? The lack of consistency kills me. Come on APS… decide if you’re for education or not. We all need to plan our kid’s futures!!
Jeff & Jennifer Del Bagno February 23, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Our son is a 12 year old 7th grade Honor Role Student at Inman & along with many of his friends has been the subject of numerous acts of Bullying, Physical Threats & Violence during both the 6th & 7th grades. Inman's repeated consistent casual indifference over the years to our's & other parents reports of Bullying, Threats & Assaults eventually led to a violent 4 on 1 Criminal Assault leaving our son with his nose broken in 3 places, a deviated septum & 95% of his sinuses caved in & only 5% breathing capacity...requiring a 3 hr corrective surgery. Inman's shocking response in violation of numerous Georgia Laws and APS Policies: "...this really wasn't that bad, just a little bloody nose...your son is too quiet...too reserved...I don't even know who his dorky little friends are...he needs an exit strategy..."- Principal Herrema's Shocking Response over the years "...I can't guarantee your son's...or anyone's safety while they are at school..."- No Incident Report or Police Report Submitted, No Reporting of the Crime to the District Attorney, Destruction of Surveillance Tapes, No Diciplinary Action taken against the 4 Assailants, No Follow Up Plan to insure no further Threats. APS School Board Response...Nothing. If your kids have also been Bullied, Threatened or Assaulted at Inman, we would like to hear from you & share our's and other parent's experiences with a view towards making Inman a Safe School. Please contact us at jdelba7821@aol.com or 404-861-0194.
Jh312 February 25, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I am so sorry to hear of this. It seems like APS is failing to discipline violent students all over the district. Perhaps having disciplinary action on record for a high number of students from a specific socio-economic background would make them look like they're doing a poor job of educating that demographic, and that's just too high of a political price for APS. There's also a tendency to pathologize students with behavioral issues, again, offering up a loophole of accountablilty for both the student and his or her parents. Let's call it what it is, crappy parenting and degenerate kids who do not belong in a traditional public school. I wish your son a speedy recovery and some sort of retribution for what he's been through.


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