Local News

Mobile Classrooms To Open Monday At One Wake County School

Posted October 23, 2005

— Students at one Wake County elementary school are expected to move into mobile classrooms this week after spending nearly two months in makeshift classrooms set up in the school's gymnasium and auditorium. Meanwhile, students at six other Wake schools could be waiting until November for classrooms.

  • After delays in construction, mobile classrooms are expected to open Monday to many fourth-grade students at Wakefield Elementary School.

    "I know that it's been on everyone's mind," said Sylvie Pretty, a member of the Wakefield Elementary PTA.

    While some delays were expected, mobile classrooms created headaches for parents, teachers and the school system. Patience was wearing thin.

    "Being on a gym floor has impacted every student. Every P.E. class has been outside," Pretty said. "It was not supposed to be for such a long period of time; so, some parents were upset initially."

    The Wake County Public School System added 146 mobile classrooms across the county this year. Because half of the classrooms were not ready for the start of school, students at six more schools -- Middle Creek High School, Knightdale Elementary, Leesville Middle, Carroll Middle, Holly Springs Elementary and Wildwood Forest Elementary -- must wait until November to move into the classrooms.

    Officials said the large order, in addition to three new modular schools, overwhelmed the school system.

    "With any construction process, it comes down to the very beginning: when you find the money, when the decision is made, what sites are available -- then you can start the process," said Mike Burriss, a representative for the Wake County Public School System.

    The school system said last week that it would need 100 more mobile classrooms for the start of the 2006-2007 school year. To avoid similar delays, school officials said orders must be submitted by January. Recent hurricanes on the Gulf Coast could impact the demand on the classrooms, but so far, manufacturers in North Carolina said they could handle the demand in Wake County.

    And schools such as Wakefield would be happy to avoid the waiting game.

    "You know, we made it a positive experience because it was such a short duration of time," Pretty said. "I believe that if it had continued through the school year, it would not have been as positive with parents and teachers as well."

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