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Bay school district considers addition of modular classrooms

District officials have asked a Cleveland architecture firm to review whether adding more modular classrooms could ease potential kindergarten and enrollment issues.

Superintendent Clint Keener said at the March 21 regular school board meeting he’s asked Cupkovic Architecture of Cleveland to review whether adding one to two modular classrooms would benefit the district. The group’s work will focus on whether adding the units would allow the district to more efficiently place half the second grade at Westerly School or half the kindergarten at the Glenview Learning Center.

“We’re asking them to take a look at the potential costs of putting in the units, whether it would be more efficient in terms of space and distribution of students as well as how long it would take and how long we could effectively use them,” Keener said.

Discussion of the modular units and other related issues initially came about several weeks ago as the district mulled whether to seek another waiver on the former Strickland administration’s mandate to state school districts to provide all-day kindergarten. Even though the new Kasich administration and legislature has done away with the all-day kindergarten concept, Bay and other districts have been mulling whether it still should be a possible option for pupils.

“That’s one of the items this will help us find out,” Keener said. “This should give us a better idea of whether adding one or two units would help us provide better education and services to the students and their parents. They’ll look at both schools and the potential impacts of having those units.”

Keener said an important aspect of the study is that if added, the units would be physically connected to the rest of the school.

“That’s an important aspect of this,” he said. ‘We really don’t want children that young having to go outside during the school day in inclement weather or being outside the school when going from one place to another during the day. Having the unit connected to the rest of the school would stop any potential problems with situations like that.”

He said an important consideration in the cost portion of the study would be how long the modular units could be utilized by the district.

“I’ve always felt that if you can use something for more than just a few years, it’s a pretty good investment,” he said. “If we can get extended use from something, then it helps us as a district. And, we always try to be cost-efficient around here in this and other areas of our budget.”

He said the cost of the study would be covered by general fund money set aside as part of the all-day kindergarten project. He said the district has set aside $2,400 to cover the study costs.

Keener said he hopes to have the study back from the architecture firm by summer. Currently, the district plans to consider the issue of all-day kindergarten and related issues again when the 2011-12 school year begins in the fall.

“Having the information available then will help us make a more informed decision about whether to get the modular units or not,” he said. “And if we do, it will help tell us the best way to implement it.”

 

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