Oklahoma City Public Schools is going to spend more than $900,000 on portable classrooms to help ease overcrowding at six elementary schools, including five on the district’s south side.
The school board Monday approved a contract with Palomar Modular Buildings and Structures of DeSoto, Texas, to buy six portables — one each for Westwood, Southern Hills, Prairie Queen, Linwood, Adams and Lee elementary schools.
The $924,000 price tag will include delivery and installation of the buildings, which are expected to be in place by Aug. 4 for the start of a new school year.
Bond funds will pay for the buildings, officials said.
All but one of the buildings contains four classrooms and a restroom. Lee’s new annex will contain two classrooms and a restroom. Linwood is on the city’s northwest side.
“We’re going to have to have them,” said board member Ron Millican, who represents Lee and Southern Hills.
In March, the board approved a plan to alleviate elementary school overcrowding by realigning school boundaries, adding portable classrooms and closing Jackson Middle School and reopening it in August as Columbus Elementary.
Members also voted Monday to rename the middle school, but they will call it Jackson Elementary School.
Most southside schools were a part of the original MAPS for Kids construction plan, but enrollment projections in the 2001 bond measure did not anticipate the large population growth that has occurred in the area, officials have said.
The district will have to pass an additional bond issue to pay for new elementary school construction, spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin said Monday.
In April, a controversial plan to bus hundreds of southside students to middle schools and high schools on the city’s north side was scrapped after coming under fire from parents of affected children required to change schools and travel as far as six miles.
The district is seeking bids for portables at middle schools and high schools to help ease overcrowding, including temporary classroom that could withstand a tornado, officials said.