Board to Consider Feasibility of Portable Classrooms to Relieve Student Overcrowding at Elementary School

May 9, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Board of Education is considering the possibility of obtaining portable classrooms to relieve student overcrowding at Smithville Elementary School.

Board member Charlie Robinson Thursday night recommended that a committee be appointed to do a feasibility study. "I think it's time to form a committee. According to the facilities study for our school system, completed by David Brown of Katts, Brinkley, Jones, & Morris Architects that was completed on October 11th, 2007 we're going to need additional classrooms to meet our Basic Education Program in at last one school in our system. I'm going to suggest that we establish a committee to evaluate the cost of site preparation, which includes electrical, water, and sewer hookups as well as fire code and state building code requirements for the placement of portable classrooms as needed throughout our system. Questions addressed should be the cost comparisons concerning buying, renting, or building this type of classroom. This is a band aid solution. I believe Mr. Willoughby has made some inquiries and has some information concerning this solution. I also recommend that we have input from our Maintenance Supervisor Earl Jared and our Transportation Supervisor Shane Cook. At the TSBA Convention, all of us who have attended discussed the placement of portables with the man who represents the portables company. I think it's time. We've got to be pro-active for our next school year."

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III says portable classrooms are not the best option but it may be better than moving some second grade classes to Northside Elementary School. "This is a financial cost. The other cost is the possibility of having to move some second grade classes and teachers to Northside. There's some adjustments that have to be made when we do that. I personally don't feel comfortable doing that, but if that's our only alternative then that's what we'll have to do to keep from being overcrowded at the Smithville Elementary School so we'd like to look into this first and see if it's economically feasible to do this and not disrupt four classes. I just don't feel comfortable splitting up the second grade or, for that matter, any grade. Smithville Elementary School currently has ten second grade classes and there is expected to be a total of eleven second grade classes there next year."

A committee made up of board members Kenny Rhody and Johnny Lattimore, assisted by Board Chairman Evins and Director Mark Willoughby will study the issue and report back to the board at a later meeting.

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