The Northridge School Board voted 5-0 Nov. 21 to ask its facilities committee to focus on three options for the future of the district's 17,000 square feet of intermediate school modular classrooms.

The Northridge School Board voted 5-0 Nov. 21 to ask its facilities committee to focus on three options for the future of the district's 17,000 square feet of intermediate school modular classrooms.

The rental contract for the modulars ends July 31. The committee will review the options and present a detailed report to the board, most likely in January.

The facilities committee is part of the group working to review and revise the district's strategic plan. The committee is looking at the options for facilities and long-range plans. Sub-committees will address primary school building needs at Alexandria, modular options for the middle school at the main campus, and planning and finance. Each sub-committee is charged with developing long- and short-term goals and benchmarks.

Shepard said the existing modulars, which house more than 200 students, can't just be hauled away like trailers, as they are all connected.

"It's one big modular," he said.

Board member Jayma Bammerlin said the committee is looking at three options:
„ Erect a "metal constructed building space" to replace the existing rented modular classrooms with new, similar, and permanent structures.

Bammerlin said Robinson Construction and JBA Architects studied at no cost to the district how much that would cost and concluded rebuilding the modulars would be less than $2.5 million.

She said treasurer Jim Hudson would look into the possibility of securing a bank loan with payments similar to rental payments on the modulars. There's been no direct discussion with any bank yet.

Bammerlin said the advantages to rebuilding the modulars are that a new structure would be safe, energy-efficient, and last roughly 30 years. The downside to this option, she said, is the price tag.

„ Purchase the existing modular space outright. She said this option is estimated at $560,000 for the existing modular classrooms.

This option's disadvantage is that it's estimated the existing modular space will only last another 10 years. The advantages are that there's no change in environment for the students, it's less effort, and it costs less than the first option.

„ Integrate the fourth- and fifth-grade classes into other district buildings and get rid of the modular classrooms entirely.
If board members were to choose this option, Bammerlin said, the fourth grade would be moved to the primary school in Alexandria and the fifth grade would go to the middle school. She said it would cost $136,000 to tear down and remove the modular, and could cost upward of $100,000 to prepare the schools to receive more children.

Another disadvantage, she said, is that the state recommends not populating school building beyond 85 percent capacity, because class sizes will vary from year to year and overcrowding should be avoided. Adding more students to the existing buildings would place some district schools at higher than 85 percent capacity.
Bammerlin said academic goals as well as financial goals must be considered as these options are weighed.

In another matter, the board is accepting applications for two board seat vacancies, those of Chris Pokorny and Lee Hatfield, who chose not to seek reelection. No candidates ran to replace them. Their terms expire at the end of the year.

Administrative assistant Donna Kincaid said interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Mark Dann, board president, 6097 Johnstown-Utica Road, Johnstown 43031 by Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Bammerlin said the board will interview applicants Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m., ahead of the 7 p.m. board meeting. She said there are training opportunities for board members in January.

Although she doesn't know of any applicants, Bammerlin said she's heard "a couple of people say they're thinking about it."

The board will hold a work session at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 to discuss policies and procedures. Bammerlin said this would be a good meeting for anyone considering applying for the open school board positions to attend.

There will be a meeting Jan. 5 to discuss a new dress code at Northridge, possibly one similar to the Johnstown Monroe dress code. Information about the meeting will be sent home with students to encourage parental involvement.