SALEM SCHOOLS Buckeye modular classrooms aim to alleviate overcrowding
The district took out a loan this summer to pay for the structures.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- The Salem school district is tackling an overcrowding problem at Buckeye Elementary through an expansion project.
Pupils are expected this week to begin using three prefabricated units each containing two classrooms, Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck said Friday.
The modular units were delivered in midsummer, and crews have spent the time since then getting them moved into place outside the elementary school.
Plans originally called for having them ready for use when school started, but there were delays caused by modifications, Brobeck explained.
One modification included installation of a canopy to shelter pupils from the elements as they walk between the units, Brobeck said.
About 120 of the school's nearly 440 kindergarten-through-fourth-grade pupils will use the modular classrooms, which have their own air conditioning and heating systems.
The school district had the units installed to alleviate overcrowding at Buckeye, located near the intersection of Buckeye Avenue and West 12th Street on the city's northwest side.
It's costing the district about $300,000 to pay for and equip the units.
The district took out a loan this summer to pay for the expense, Brobeck said.
Brobeck noted that all the district's four elementary schools, including Buckeye, have no room to spare.
"We're capped out. There's no empty classrooms," Brobeck said.
Prospect Elementary already has modular classrooms. Brobeck said he doesn't anticipate needing them at Reilly and Southeast elementary schools.
School district forecasts indicate that the attendance at those buildings will not significantly increase in the next few years.
District officials hope to eventually land state funding to pay for new school buildings, Brobeck said. Such an undertaking is years away, however, he added.