SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Students in Johnston County head back to school Monday, and many of them will not be in brick buildings -- they will be in trailers.
The school district is growing by 1,200 to 1,400 students every year.
While a proposal to expand and build new schools is worked out, the school system is filling the void with mobile classrooms.
At Cleveland Elementary, 19 trailers will house a quarter of its students. The school built for 900 students now has 1,200.
The school's principal affectionately calls rows and rows of the mobile classrooms "the cottages on the hill."
Countywide, 129 mobile classrooms are being used this year.
The next bond issue calls for the construction of three new elementary schools, but that will be years away.
"If all the circumstances surrounding this issue were as we wanted them to be, we had preferred to pass it in 2004," said Dr. Anthony Parker, Johnston County School superintendent.
A vote will not take place until at least 2005.
Summer officially ends this week for most area students on the traditional school calendar.
Chatham, Franklin, Halifax, Johnston, and Nash/Rocky Mount schools start Monday. Students in Cumberland, Durham, Granville, Orange and Wake counties return to class Tuesday.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools go back on Wed., August 18.