Rain delays installation of classroom trailers for Austintown schools

By kristine gill



School officials are waiting for the ground to dry before installing four classroom trailers behind Frank Ohl Intermediate School and Watson Elementary.

The double-wide trailers will house the library and computer labs of each school for the next 30 months for construction of a new kindergarten through second-grade building and a third- through fifth-grade school and demolition of the old buildings.

“Another district has been using them, but they look brand new,” said Mal Culp, supervisor of facilities and operations for the district.

School officials will break ground soon on the $50 million project.

Each trailer is being rented for $875 per month for a total of $105,000 by the end of the lease. The 30-month lease is funded in part by the school district and in part with money from the Ohio School Facilities Commission — which is partly funding the overall construction project.

Space used for the libraries and computer labs inside the current buildings will be converted to classroom or storage spaces for the next two years.

Superintendent Vince Colaluca said keeping students comfortable is a priority, and the trailers, which have heat, air conditioning and electricity, will be used only for special classes such as music, library or art.

Areas inside Frank Ohl, which was originally a middle school, have locker rooms and stages that haven’t been used since it became a fourth- and fifth-grade building. Those spaces will also be used for either classrooms or storage.

Each trailer is 24 by 60 feet. Each of two classrooms within the trailers is 24 by 30 feet.

Rain has delayed installation of the trailers, which were supposed to be in place by the end of spring break last month.

They are being stored on another part of campus. Culp said they will be finished with vinyl tile instead of the traditional carpet for hygienic purposes as the students using them are younger.

Meanwhile, new buildings will be built on empty land behind the schools. The old schools will be demolished as one of the last steps in the project set for completion in September 2013.

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