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Library, Forsyth sheriffs precinct among possible neighbors for Denmark High School
Building where schools namesake practiced medicine likely will be moved there

SOUTHWEST FORSYTH — It appears the site of Denmark High School, which is under construction in southwest Forsyth, might also become home to a library, historic building and sheriff’s office precinct.

Also part of plan the county commission agreed to pursue Tuesday night is a synthetic turf field, which the school would share with the parks and recreation system.

The structure is the former practice of the school’s namesake, the late Dr. Leia Denmark. It would be relocated there by the developer of a nearby property where it currently sits.

Denmark was one of the first female pediatricians in Georgia. She lived and operated her last medical office adjacent to the 118-acre high school campus between Fowler and Mullinax roads.

Denmark worked with Eli Lilly and other researchers at Emory University, helping develop a successful vaccination for whooping cough in 1932.

After becoming the oldest practicing physician in the nation at the time, she retired at age 103.

She died in 2012 as the fifth-oldest living person in the world. She was 114.

Commissioner Todd Levent said he is working with residents who wanted the building preserved to raise funds to maintain it within the developer’s one-year time frame.

“They’re going to have to build a small foundation for it,” Levent said. “They’re going to have to put some of the siding back on it, do some repairs and paint it again and landscaping. But I don’t think they’re going to have to raise a whole lot of money, since the mover is paying for it, maybe $30,000.”

The building will sit near the entrance to the new school and have protective security measures. It likely wouldn’t be occupied, Levent said, adding that some renovated sections that lack historical value might not even make the move.

The commission directed county and legal staff to move forward with the projects, but did not approve them outright.

The nearly 10 acres to be used for a new library branch and sheriff’s office precinct are at the southern end of the site.

The area was originally proposed only for a library, but the precinct was considered after the school system doubled the amount of land it was willing to offer.

“We had originally spoken with [facilities director for county school s Tim Amerson] about approximately 5 acres in that same spot,” said Anna Lyle, libraries director. “We’ve never shared [a site] with the sheriff’s department, but we think ... that would be manageable.”

The library system would use impact fees for funding the project and there’s no guarantee the sheriff’s office would use the land.

The final plot would be for a synthetic turf field sitting between the school’s football and baseball fields.

County Manager Doug Derrer said the agreement with the school for the field would be similar to a recent arrangement at Lambert High School.

Under that deal, the field is used both for high school and youth sports.