Residents upset about plans to move Sandy Springs elementary school

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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. —

Fulton County school leaders are catching grief from some Sandy Spring residents for plans to relocate and rebuild an aging elementary school.
 
Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik said some Sandy Springs residents feel the county is pushing them around.
 
School officials said Heards Ferry Elementary School is in disrepair and needs to be torn down and rebuilt. But some neighbors are questioning whether that is necessary.
 
Neighbor Herb Carter said Fulton County School representatives showed up offering to buy the land behind his home to build a new elementary school.
 
“I am absolutely not interested in selling," Carter said he told the representatives.
 
Voters approved the education Special Local Option Sales Tax last year. After voters approved the tax, Fulton County schools earmarked some of the money to rebuild Heards Ferry Elementary School.
 
"We already have a school in the area. (There’s) a middle school and a high school right around the corner from where they're proposing a new school," Carter said.
 
Petchenik learned the district is looking at several options.
 
"The folks over there in Heards Ferry want to keep it and the folks over here do not want it. So, what is so compelling?  Is there something under the table we don't know about?" Carter said.
 
Carter said he hopes his land is not one of the options.
 
Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos said, "The education of the children depends on the teachers and we put way too much emphasis on the buildings.”
 
Galambos and the City Council asked the school board to justify the need to relocate and rebuild the elementary school.
 
“It seems to me that the taxpayers deserve a better look at the situation and that renovation of a building needs to be considered,” Galambos said.
 
Carter said district representatives hinted they might take his land away.
 
"I will fight this thing.  I have both the resources and the time," Carter said. 
 
Carter told Channel 2 Action News he won’t back down.