by Terry Rogers
Milford School District Board of Education recently approved replacement of four mobile units located on the high school campus. The new unit, which will allow for eight classrooms, will increase the number of classrooms by two while also providing additional security for students and staff.
“This addition allows for better security as all eight classrooms will be under one building, compared to the four we currently have on site,” Mike Sharp, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, said. “This will allow for better control of who has access to the building as a safety measure for students and staff.
The new classroom would also require an upgraded HVAC system. A second proposal was included in the board packet, but Sharp explained staff was not comfortable with the placement of that unit on the Milford Central Academy campus, so they were not ready to obtain approval for that unit at this time. Funding for the new modular classroom would come from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relieve Funds (ESSER). Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent, explained that the modular classrooms were included as part of the ESSER plan. Board Member Kris Thompson asked if the district was replacing current units that they already owned.
“Yeah, right outside the wrestling room and 618,” Sharp said. “We’re going to take and remove those as they are past their lifespan. They served us very well. I was out there earlier tonight, and one says 1990, the other says 1996, another 2000 or somewhere in that area. So, they’ve done us well, but this gives us an opportunity to upgrade for our students and just get a better security posture for out there because, right now, we have 12 doors in and out of those classrooms and this would give two exterior doors so we could better fit comfortably. So, it gives us positive control of that environment.”
Sharp confirmed that the district owned the current units and Thompson questioned what would happen to the older units.
“We could offer them to other districts,” Sharp said. “I’m not sure their stability, where they’d be able to be repurposed within our district. The plan could be where we just have to remove and trash. So, we’re not sure. We have to have a contractor look at it and make sure they’re physically able to get on the road to move to somewhere else, because typically what will happen is somebody in my capacity from another district will offer up a building, and then it’s on that person to get that district or entity to come and get them.”
Thompson then asked if the cost of removal was factored into the $836,120 cost presented to the board.
“No, it is not,” Sharp said. “That is something I should have hit on. There will be additional costs for the removal of the modular classrooms, site prep, electrical technology and permitting. The contract’s also contingent on the permitting process with the city and the fire marshal, which they’ll have to get. They’ll get the building plans thought he engineer and Willscot Company”
Board member Scott Fitzgerald asked how the new middle school would affect the need for the modular classrooms.
“I think at the end of the day, there will be some impact here,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Obviously, at some point in time, hopefully we’re in a situation where when a new middle school is built or constructed, that we will have some space over here we can utilize differently. Now, if we do have some modular that are utilized for MCA, they also may help out the high school or, depending on our growth, over here. So, if it was right now at the grade level, we should have some space. We may not need those modulars to the same effect here.”
Dr. Dickerson stated that as the opening of the refurbished middle school gets closer, the district will need to take a look at growth, but that he anticipated continued growth that would require the additional modular classrooms. He also stated that the board needed to move quickly to be sure the classrooms were in place and ready for students before the 2022-23 school year.
The board approved the request for the new modular unanimously.
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