Next month, Central School District 104 plans to install a portable classroom to address its ongoing space needs.
Superintendent John Bute said the district will place the portable unit, which will contain four classrooms, on the south end of the elementary school playground.
Bute anticipates the portable unit will be a temporary fix, noting the school board will be leasing it for the next three years at an annual cost of about $27,000 from JMO Mobile Modular, LLC in Marion.
“That’s our anticipation,” he said. “But we don’t know for certain, yet.”
The final decision will be decided based on student enrollment.
Bute said the school board opted to do a three-year lease because it hopes to have a long term decision before that.
He pointed out that if the registration figures come in higher than what the district finished this spring, Bute said the district might install another portable unit.
On Friday of last week, Bute prepared bid notices for the set up of the unit.
The District 104 school board is expected to award those bids at a June 27 special meeting.
For the last few months, the Central School Board has been looking at five potential options. The options considered, included:
▪ Moving speciality classes into a regular classroom.
▪ Increasing class sizes across all sections.
▪ Putting in portable classrooms.
▪ Converting the Central Elementary indoor playground into classrooms; and
▪ Adding onto it elementary and middle schools.
At the end of February, the district had a total of 623 students, including 371 at its elementary campus and 252 enrolled at Joseph Arthur Middle School.
District officials are projecting enrollment will surpass 700 students in the next five years.
Bute said the portable classroom will be a temporary fix, noting the district will be leasing the unit.
The first day of school is Aug. 11.