A $147 Million signal of faith in Atlanta’s Public Schools

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, August 8, 2013

The most expensive public high school ever built in Georgia opens Wednesday in an old I.B.M. office building.

With 11 stories, a 900-car parking deck and views fit for a corporate executive, the school, North Atlanta High, looks very much like the fancy office buildings and glittery shopping strips that populate its Buckhead community.

The school cost about $147 million. That is small change compared with the Robert F. Kennedy high school complex in Los Angeles, built in 2010 for $578 million — a figure critics liked to point out was more expensive than Beijing’s Olympic stadium.

But in the Deep South, where the median cost of a new high school is $38.5 million, it might as well be the Taj Mahal.

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