Harrison Ninth-Grade Center Revived?

The West Cobb high school's full $14.5 million project will get another vote for school board approval May 9.

full $14.5 million package of renovations has another chance.

Cobb County Board of Education member Lynnda Eagle, who represents Harrison as part of her West Cobb district, asked Chairman Scott Sweeney to add the SPLOST-financed project to the agenda for the school board’s May 9 work session. Sweeney agreed, and David Banks also backed the move.

Sweeney added the Harrison project as an action item, meaning the board will reconsider its indefinitely and proceed with other planned repairs and improvements separately.

Eagle’s request, in the final moments of a 2½-hour meeting, might offer real hope for the Hoya Nation.

She had explained during the board’s work session April 11 that because it was pointless unless one of the four members who voted no had a change of heart.

Now she is seeking the revote.

What should the school board do May 9? Let board members know in the comments below.

The back by at least a year to redo and rebid the job. It also raised doubts that will ever be built.

Alison Bartlett, Kathleen Angelucci, David Morgan and Tim Stultz formed the majority that night, but it sounded as if Angelucci supported Eagle’s request Thursday night to bring the project back for another vote.

Cobb voters endorsed the ninth-grade center and the other Harrison improvements when they approved the third Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in September 2008.

The school board initially on a 4-3 vote Feb. 17, 2011. That night, Morgan joined Eagle, Banks and Sweeney in the majority.

Harrison Community Anger

The reversal last month outraged the Harrison community.

Parent Tim Paradiso spoke at the school board’s April 11 work session and

Principal William Griggers this week urging parents to turn out for Thursday night’s meeting either to speak to the board or simply show support for the full project.

Six parents, including Paradiso, answered Griggers’ call to action by .

They cited the deplorable condition of the school’s track, the lack of any major renovations in the school’s two-decade history, the absence of room to significantly expand the cramped cafeteria, and the need to add trailers, up to a total of 19, if the new chorale facility goes in the existing building instead of a ninth-grade center.

"Do the right thing for our children," Heather Ryan said. "Do what you committed to do."

New Electoral Map

Under the redrawing of school board electoral lines, Harrison families likely will get to against Bartlett, the member who proposed breaking up the SPLOST project and delaying the ninth-grade center.

The reapportionment of the seven Board of Education districts, enacted last week when Gov. Nathan Deal signed H.B. 1208, shifts Bartlett’s central Cobb Post 7 westward to encompass Harrison while shifting Eagle’s Post 1 northward.

Eagle, Bartlett, Banks of Post 5 and Morgan of Post 3 are up for re-election this year, starting with the primary July 31.

Bartlett spoke against the new districts Thursday night, saying they break up communities of interest and weaken minority voting power, but Board Attorney Clem Doyle is moving ahead with seeking Justice Department pre-clearance for the new electoral districts under the Voting Rights Act.

Doyle said anyone, including the board, could go to court to challenge the map, drawn and approved by the General Assembly.

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