Press Release


Portable classroom needed to relieve overcrowding
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011

Evergreen Elementary to get new ‘green’ trailer Portable classroom needed to relieve overcrowding by JESSE YEATMAN, Staff Writer Evergreen Elementary School, which opened just three years ago, has already run out of space for its students. The St. Mary’s school board voted last week to add a portable trailer to the school property to help relieve some of the overcrowding at the school, which is located in California’s Wildewood community. Evergreen’s current enrollment is approximately 718 students; the state says the school has a capacity of 644 students. No new teachers will be added to the school this year. Instead, the new trailer space, expected to be in place next spring, will be used for band and art classes. “We really do need the additional space,” Principal Kim Summers said. Currently, the band practices in a science lab while the stringed instrument class meets in a small resource room, Summers said. Those groups as well as art classes will likely use the new space available in the portable classrooms once they are installed, she said. “This is going to be a real reprieve for those students,” Summers said. Evergreen was designed with environmentally friendly features, including waterless urinals, green roofs, energy efficiencies and natural lighting. The new trailer will also be green, and include tube lighting to let in natural light, a white roof to help reflect sunlight for cooling, high-efficiency heat pumps and carbon-dioxide monitors, according to Larry Hartwick, supervisor of design and construction. He said the school system hired the same contractor, Modular Genius, that installed portable classrooms at Lettie Marshall Dent, Dynard and Leonardtown elementary schools last year to install the new trailer next spring. The 1,800-square-foot building and installation will cost $127,323, with a $25,000 contingency fund. The site work will include the possibility of adding another trailer in the future, Hartwick said. Brad Clements, chief operating officer, said a new elementary school is in the pipeline that should help alleviate overcrowding at Evergreen as well as Leonardtown Elementary School, the two fastest growing schools in the county. “We have that plan because we are continuing to grow,” Clements said of the new school planned for the Hayden farm property on Route 245 near Leonardtown. The public elementary classrooms in St. Mary's are projected to be more than 1,000 students over capacity by the time that new school opens in 2015. Clements said a redistricting committee plans to start meeting to look at how to address the overcrowding at elementary schools in the central part of the county. “All of the schools within our development district [around Leonardtown] are at capacity,” Clements said. School board member Cathy Allen said she has had parents from Evergreen Elementary ask her to redistrict other students out of the school to help relieve the overcrowding. Clements said that before Evergreen Elementary School opened he and other school staff tried to define the school’s district in a way that would leave room for growth assuming the Wildewood neighborhood would continue to be developed. The school’s capacity “has been reached a little bit sooner” than planned, he said of reaching the school’s capacity. The school board Wednesday also approved for Leonardtown Middle School the purchase and installation of 30 cameras and a monitoring and recording system from Mona Electric for almost $47,000, along with new camera software and hardware totaling about $11,000 that will help improve school administrators’ ability to remotely access cameras at schools throughout the county. Copyright © Southern Maryland Newspapers - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See full article

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