Classroom units arrive in district
A short-term solution to growth has come together piece by piece for Eudora USD 491.
Beginning at Eudora Middle School last Wednesday, pieces of modular classrooms arrived at district schools.
In the same week different modular units arrived at Nottingham Elementary School.
Starting next year, the units will be full-fledged classrooms and help house the glut of new students to the district.
The units will stay for at least four years. The fate of a planned bond issue in 2008 will determine how long they stay after that.
Superintendent Marty Kobza said he was pleased by the district's decision to order the units.
"They'll serve their purpose," Kobza said. "Obviously, we would always like to have the classrooms and the building be part of the permanent structure. But when you're in a situation like ours where you're growing fairly rapidly, the board is trying to be representatives for taxpayers by delaying the next bond issue to 2008 and being cognizant of that.
"As far as modular classrooms, I think these would be quality modular classrooms. Although this is not the ideal situation, I think it will be functional for us in the short term."
Although the units arrived more or less dissected, workers have labored all week to piece the parts together into full buildings.
The structures at Nottingham will contain four full classrooms and have fully independent utilities, Kobza said.
"Four first-grade classes will be in one of the units," Kobza said. "If we are looking at a bond issue in the fall of 2008, we'll be utilizing those until 2010."
The structures have classrooms, restrooms and a hallway, Kobza said.
The units will be located north of Laws Field.
Kobza said the district has always looked at possible safety issues with the elementary youngsters crossing the parking lot.
"We're going to put up a fence across the main drive area and we're going to change the parking lot configuration in Nottingham so there isn't any through traffic," Kobza said.
The middle school structure will only service two classrooms, but help make room for next year's incoming class of sixth-graders, Kobza said.
Despite the appearance of the trailers last week, Eudora Middle School Principal Don Grosdidier said they have caused little buzz around the school.
"We've been talking about it a long time," Grosdidier said.
Grosdidier said he was confident the modular units will help the school deal with the 120 student class coming in next year.
"I haven't been in it yet, from the outside it is pretty much what I expected," Grosdidier said Monday. "They haven't been put together yet, so I haven't been inside. "
The large incoming class will add more to the middle school than just trailers, Grosdidier said.
"(The incoming class means) an additional staff member and an additional classroom to what we've had in the past," Grosdidier said. The unit will also give the middle school space for other projects, he said.
"We had some needs as far as computer lab space that we needed to free up here in the building to accomplish testing and things," Grosdidier said.