One of the most difficult issues for school districts to deal with is population growth in certain regions. It is very difficult to construct additions to a school building in the short span of time that summer vacation allows and even harder to do so while school is in session. A few weeks ago, I wrote about one school district that needs more portable buildings to deal with the overflow of students. This week, I found a recent story that not only shows how important portable buildings are in this situation, but that also sheds some light on the costs of maintaining these expiration date classrooms.
An article from Nola.com discusses the serious classroom crunch that the St. Charles Parish school area is having. The population of students is expected to go up by 300 as of next year, so administrators are clamoring to redistribute space for these additions. The major way that they will do this is by changing the grade levels through standardization, which will force certain grade levels to be in specific school buildings.
Once additions are completed to the schools getting the most new students, there will be the opportunity to remove the portable buildings that have been housing many classrooms over the last few years:
“[Executive Director of Physical Plant Services John] Rome said the drop in student population at those schools will allow the district to get rid of portable buildings and move the students into the main buildings. Reducing portable buildings is a goal of the district, in part because they are expensive to maintain. The new grade configurations will allow the district to eliminate about 42 portable buildings, Rome said, leaving the district with approximately 78 in 2012-13. New two-story wings will accommodate the additional students at J.B. Martin and Harry Hurst.”