Due to rising enrollment, Thurston Middle School will get two portable classrooms, school board members unanimously decided this week.
The classrooms are scheduled to be up and functioning by the end of the calendar year, with installation planned during the winter school break. They will stay on campus for two years while long-term enrollment trends are analyzed to determine if permanent classrooms are needed.
This year, more than 800 students arrived at Thurston, the largest enrollment ever. For the first time, portable classrooms were approved to catch the overflow. School officials can’t quite explain the reason for the unexpected increase, attributing it to a variety of reasons.
The portables will provide classroom space to two teachers that began the year providing instruction itinerantly, circulating between open periods in eight other classrooms.
Two years or less is the required time to rush the approval process with the Division of State Architects, which is necessary before the process can begin, according to a report to school board members.
The temporary classrooms will be installed by December at a lease amount of $46,712 total for two years. Setting up utilities and outfitting the temporary classes will cost another $30,000 each, according to earlier reports, bringing the total estimated cost with other incidentals to more than $250,000. Architectural services were approved at $10,000.
The board also approved hiring a consultant at $4,369 to analyze long-term student enrollment trends.