San Marcos CISD may consider portable buildings to alleviate crowding

The San Marcos CISD board of trustees received an update on the potential use of portable buildings to relieve overcrowding on March 27.

The San Marcos CISD board of trustees received an update on the potential use of portable buildings to relieve overcrowding on March 27.

San Marcos CISD may purchase or lease portable building to relieve crowding at district campuses, but a decision will need to be made soon if the buildings will be ready for the start of the 2017-18 school year, district staff said at a meeting March 27.

According to Facilities Director Jay Wesson’s analysis, a two-year lease for a single-classroom portable building would cost $13,800. A two-year lease for a double-classroom portable building would cost $16,800. A single-classroom portable building would cost $30,000 to purchase. A double-classroom portable building would cost $56,000.

When factoring all expenses, including site preparation, delivery and permits, the cost increases to $87,450 for a two-year lease on a single-classroom building and $106,000 for a two-year lease on a double-classroom building. Purchasing a single-classroom building would cost $103,650, and a double-classroom would cost $145,200.

The two campuses that could receive portable buildings, Travis and Crockett elementary schools, could accommodate portable buildings, but that would be difficult, Wesson said, because of environmental factors, including the propensity for flooding at Travis and the steep grade of the land at Crockett.

“Honestly, I don’t know where you would put a portable,” Wesson said. “I really don’t, without some major dirt work.”

Monica Ruiz-Mills, assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and assessment, presented the board with short-term options to relieve overcrowding that would not require the use of portable buildings. Those solutions include converting a book room at Travis into a classroom with capacity for about 15 students; turning the computer and science labs at Travis and Crockett elementary schools to classrooms; and moving the music room to the stage in the cafeteria at both campuses.

Trustees said they expect to discuss the issue of portables at their meeting in April.

A demographic report indicates the district will see continued growth, with 1,000 new students enrolling in SMCISD schools within the next five years.