Last month, building permits were submitted to the City of Atlanta by applicant Jackie Balouch of Montessori Intown to renovate an existing residential home built around 1925 and located at 1189 Merlin Avenue SE to a building intended to be used as classrooms for a Montessori school. Among the proposed alternations are interior renovations, accessibility improvements, and newly paved hardscapes to the rear of the building.
Earlier this year, the City Council granted a conditional, special use permit to Balouch in order to operate a Montessori on the 7,500 square foot lot.
According to the approved special use permit application, the goal of the property was to provide a quality Montessori elementary education to children in grades one through six. Two 1,200 square foot classrooms were proposed, requiring a second story on the existing structure.
For the 2021/22 school year, the submitted materials predicted that 10-12 children between the ages of nine and twelve would be educated in the new facility and grow to 14-16 children the next school year. During the 2023/24 school year, the applicant anticipated the six to nine-year-old children who have been at Arkwright would move to the newly renovated building. As a result, the building was expected to grow up to 50 first through sixth-grade students at total capacity.
However, the conditions ultimately approved for the permit included the requirement that the enrollment could not exceed 24 children, that the special use permit was not transferrable, that the permit is valid for only Montessori Intown as the operator, and that the permit shall expire three years from the date of adoption.
The school, which has been operating in residential areas since 2005, has never had a noise complaint, as indicated in the special use permit application.
The submitted building permit indicated a renovation value of $100,000.