On Jun 14, seven portable classrooms were delivered to the Maricopa Unified School District and await installation at the six MUSD elementary schools.
Each portable building is 1,876 square feet – about half the size of a tennis court – with two classrooms inside.
Superintendent Dr. Tracey Lopeman is eager to get them up and running for the 2023-2024 school year.
“The portables will provide additional learning spaces to accommodate for our growing student population,” she said. “(They) reflect our commitment and investment to student success and class size.”
With portable classrooms, MUSD’s Chief Financial Officer Jacob Harmon is confident the district has a solid plan to get through the next couple years.
“These are not strategies for next year, but potential strategies for the future,” Harmon said in a Governing Board Meeting Jan. 25.
Harmon said the district browsed other options, such as modular and conventionally framed classrooms, but ultimately decided against it.
The main difference was the price point, as the framed classrooms would be 20% more expensive.
The portable classrooms check in at $403,000 a piece with a $47,000 contingency built into construction of each one.
On the flip side, a traditionally framed classroom runs a total of nearly $580,000 and would not be nearly as convenient.
“We didn’t like the non-flexible nature,” Harmon said. “Those portables give us flexibility and the ability to move them in the future.”
The portables will only have plumbing for fire sprinklers, meaning they will not include bathrooms.
However, Harmon said restrooms are still a possibility in the future if required, it would just result in a larger budget.
“It’s a long-term plan,” Lopeman said.
“We’re gradually stepping into accommodating our growth.”