St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven plans to purchase about seven acres of land for new sports fields.
Derek Porter, chairman of the board of trustees of St. Martin’s Episcopal School, sent a letter May 4 announcing that the school is under contract to purchase a 7.2-acre lot on Osborne Road, near the intersection of Windsor Parkway and less than a mile from the school’s main campus.
“Historically known as Morrison Farms, the property will provide us with a unique opportunity to build future sports facilities within walking distance of the Ashford Dunwoody campus,” Porter said in the letter.
According to the letter, the board began looking for possible space for the school’s sports fields about five years ago and initially purchased a 7.5-acre property along the Buford Freeway. In the letter, Porter said he believes the school should be able to sell the Doraville property “at a valuation where we can acquire the land from Morrison Farms with no further financial impact on the school.”
In an interview with Reporter Newspapers, Porter said sports fields have been part of the school’s vision for more than a decade. He said the fact that the property is located between the main campus and the school’s High Point campus is a “dream scenario.”
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to develop,” he said. “We have a small plot located on the main road [Ashford-Dunwoody Road] campus, but this campus is very landlocked…so there has been a constant struggle within our athletics department to organize field space through local parks and so on.
Porter said the current plan is to build a single sports field and a multi-purpose gym on the property. The school will have to go through the rezoning process with the city to move forward.
A neighbor in the area said that upon learning of the plans, he was concerned about the level of traffic and the disruption the sports fields could bring to the neighborhood.
“[Traffic] is my biggest concern,” said Gary Cook, who has been in the area since 1986 and lives a few blocks from the property on Osborne Road. “There are a few more. I’m not a fan of a lot of light. There will be light here. There will be a lot of noise. There will be waste.
Porter said neighbors shouldn’t expect a ton of activity around athletic fields in terms of major sporting events with multiple spectators, and much of what happens on the fields will be practices.
“It’s the primary/secondary level,” Porter said. “It’s not like we’re building a high school that will host big events.”