Re-2 buildings getting crowded
RIFLE ” Beginning tomorrow some classes in the Garfield Re-2 School District are going mobile.
The five new modular classrooms at four of the districts most crowded schools, won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
The modular buildings, that have been regarded as eyesores by some in the community, are a necessity for an ever-increasing student population within the district.
The Re-2 school district has increased 10 percent over the last five years from approximately 3,622 students to 4,024 students this year. With an anticipated growth 5 to 7 percent over the next five years for the eight schools in the district.
“The district is in a growing era,” said Theresa Hamilton, Re-2 director of districtwide services. “As the community grows the needs of the schools are going to grow with it. As of right now the district is at capacity.”
“At capacity” means that the district will need additional classrooms every year. This year, Wamsley Elementary in Rifle, received two additional modulars, increasing the schools total to four. One of last year’s modulars was for the Head-Start Program, which is specifically for pre-school and at-risk students. The other was used for art classes. This year the additional modulars will house a specific grade level.
Other schools that received modulars were Highland Elementary in Rifle, Rifle Middle School, and Kathryn Senor Elementary in New Castle. Silt’s Roy Moore Elementary has one existing modular. The district has a total of nine modular buildings at five schools.
Schools that received modulars were determined to be nearing or exceeding capacity by the district and was done on a school-by-school basis. They were based upon the capacity of the building and the student enrollment for the year.
Locations of the modulars are determined by space availability first and foremost. Other factors considered were child safety and supervision ” to ensure that the students can exit and enter the buildings safely. Delivery of instructional services ” to ensure the students get to their classes in the main building efficiently. Weather ” not exposing students to extreme conditions between classes for too long of a period. And, last but not least, there is the cost to consider as well.
Just to set up a modular building at one school is between $50,000-$60,000 . The building alone can run around $20,000 with other expenses including furniture, electrical service, data service, phone service, sidewalks, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps, water and sewer (if applicable), and life safety systems ” including security and communications to the main office in case of emergency.
Coal Ridge High School, now in its second year, was constructed with an anticipation of growth. The school was designed around a core area cafeteria with a capacity of one thousand students. If the capacity is exceeded, classrooms can be added and the cafeteria can be expanded with limited resistance.
A school board meeting, to address the lack of classroom capacity in the district, is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 29.
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