Indian River School District Installs Portable Classrooms Ahead of New School Year
GEORGETOWN, Del.- Students who attend two schools in the Indian River School District will notice some new additions this year: portable classrooms.
The trailers are being installed to relieve overcrowding and meet the needs of a growing student population.
Superintendent Mark Steele said the district is expecting "substantial growth" between now and the end of September.
"We're expecting our numbers to hit right around 10,900 to 11,000 [students]," said Steele.
Voters in the school district rejected two major capital improvement referendums back in February and again in May.
The vote sought funding for the construction of a new Sussex Central High School, as well as additions at other schools.
Six trailers are being installed at Sussex Central (two of those donated by the Cape Henlopen School District), and one trailer is being installed at North Georgetown Elementary School.
"Obviously, they provide much-needed classroom space, but we're still going to have very congested hallways and things of that nature. Still only one gym. One auditorium. One cafeteria," said Sussex Central Principal Bradley Layfield.
Steele expects the overall cost of the trailers to be around $400,000 just for the first year.
"When we go to year number two, the five portables we lease ... we'll have to pay the yearly lease fee on those which is around $30,000 each," said Steele.
And then there's the cost of bringing in more portables over the next few years.
"We believe by 2024, we'll be up to about 24 or 25 trailers in the district, and that we figure it would be about $700,000 a year straight off our operating expenses," said Steele.
Steele said future plans for portable classrooms would have been different had the referendum passed.
"We knew we were going to have to get some, because it was going to be a four year build, so we were going to try to limit what we got. The longer we wait the more it's going to cost," said Steele.