by the SPS Elementary Administrative Team
The Sandwich Public Schools would like to renovate the “portable” classrooms that were added to the Oak Ridge and Forestdale Schools in the late 90’s. Because the term “portable” brings a variety of images to people’s minds, and so many questions have been raised, we are providing some basic information about portable classrooms in general and specifically about the ones at Oak Ridge and Forestdale.
This is the first article about this portables. We anticipate another article about the plans for the portables – both about the renovation plans and about how the space will be used during 2015-2016 and beyond. Following is a description of the portables, including photos, and a brief history of their use at Forestdale and Oak Ridge. Deb Landry, current principal at Wing, was the Assistant Principal at Oak Ridge during the time of the addition of the portables there and has been able to speak to the history of the portables.
- “Portable” buildings are used for a wide variety of purposes, one of which is an affordable way to add space to an existing building. Often times, municipal governments utilize these types of buildings to accommodate their needs for expansion when funding is not available for major additions or renovations.
- Here’s a link to a Massachusetts company that installs modular classrooms.
(Not to say this is the company we used in Sandwich – just to provide some context about portable classrooms.) They were called “portable” in the past because they were moved to the site already constructed. The term more commonly used now is “modular.”
- In Sandwich, they were added to Forestdale and Oak Ridge to accommodate the rapid population growth in the late 90’s.
- Students have been utilizing those buildings until just last year, primarily for World Language classes.
- At Oak Ridge, grade 6 used the portables for a few years until space became available elsewhere in the building. At Forestdale, grade 5 used the portables – they moved when space became available elsewhere.
- Both sets of portables are attached to the building, with access through the inside of the building; they are secure to the outside; contain 6 spacious classrooms; include boys and girls lavatories; have large windows with plenty of natural light; and handicap ramp access.
- The modular classrooms essentially are an addition, a wing attached to the “main” part of the school built in 1990. There are two exterior doors and the classrooms have doors between them.