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Big ninth-grade class prompts district to use modular units

September 15, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A bubble in the district's population of freshmen has some Waynesboro Area Senior High School students taking classes in an expanded group of modular classrooms, according to Superintendent Barry Dallara.

Dallara told the Waynesboro School Board Tuesday night that the high school's population was more than 1,200 last year, but is about 1,370 at the beginning of this school year. He said a typical freshman class has about 290 students, but this year the number is about 350.

The district had unusually large seventh- and eighth-grade classes in 2003-04, which means another increase in the high school population next year, according to Dallara.

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"By next year, they'll all be at the high school and we'll have more than 1,400 students," he said.

Four new modular classrooms were added to three existing modular units over the summer, Dallara said. Although they are considered temporary structures, they are configured in such a way as to resemble regular classroom space and have one amenity that most of the school lacks - air conditioning, according to Board President Larry Glenn.

Dallara said the modular units at the high school are different from modular units added to the middle school a few years ago, which were essentially permanent additions to that building.

The district purchased the used modulars from another district for $13,532, Glenn said. The total cost of the addition, however, is about $150,000 when transportation, site preparation and other expenses were figured in, Dallara said.

That cost will go up if the district gets permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to enclose connecting corridors, Dallara said.

The district's student population this year is 4,127, Dallara told the board. That includes another group with a larger-than-normal enrollment, kindergarten students.

There are 336 kindergarten students this year, about 70 more than in 2003-04, he said.

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