Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Board leases two more modulars

October 19, 2006

Two more modular units will be on the way to Nottingham Elementary School for the 2007 school year.

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education decided Oct. 11 to lease the units for $55,000 to help compensate for larger-than-expected growth in the primary grades, Eudora Superintendent Marty Kobza said.

The decision marks the second straight year the district added mobile units in response to growth. Last year, the district purchased modular classrooms to house larger enrollments at both Nottingham and Eudora Middle School.

With the district's inaugural class of all-day kindergarten accounted for, district officials realized they needed more space.

"There was the realization that class sizes were getting to the point where they really were larger than what we would like them to be," Kobza said.

Nottingham classrooms average about 20 students. Kobza said the goal was to have 17 to 18 students per room.

Gaining the smaller class sizes meant adding more sections to each grade level, Kobza said. The district will be adding one more section of all-day kindergarten, as well as additional sections in first and second grade.

The modular units will help house the new sections and provide additional space for special needs students, Kobza said. The fourth classroom might also be used as a reading room, Kobza said.

The new modular units will also keep the first-grade class together.

"All of the first-grade classes will be outside in the modular units," Kobza said.

Last year, the board agreed to buy mobile classrooms.

Because an upcoming bond issue might offer a more permanent solution, the district would get about two years of use from the classrooms, Kobza said.

"Once you kind of get that short of a term having modular units in place it becomes a situation where you're better off leasing than purchasing," he said.

The district bought the current mobile units with the thought that they would be in service for four years, Kobza said.

Like current modular units at Nottingham, the new classrooms would be fully equipped with restrooms and drinking fountains, Kobza said.

Although the mobile units could be in service as little as two years, the board saw the need to add them as a temporary way to solve the district's space needs.

"The general consensus of the board was we needed to do this and get it moving so they be in place by next fall," Kobza said.

Board member Greg Neis noted the district has nowhere else to go to compensate for growth.

"It's a matter of necessity," Neis said.

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