Carlisle Area School District has released a proposed timeline for the possible installation this summer of modular classroom units at Mooreland Elementary School.
District Director of Finance Shawn Farr briefed the school board property committee Thursday on the sequence of steps that could begin in late January with the advertisement of bid specifications.
Modular unit bids could be received and opened in March and a recommendation could be made to the committee on April 12. A week later, on April 19, the board-as-a-whole could vote on whether to accept the recommended bids on the modular units.
If a board majority accepts the bids, administrators will notify the contractors so they could mobilize equipment for the work. April to May will be spent preparing the site for installation of the modular units. This will include getting the necessary permits from Carlisle Borough, putting in the foundation and extending power and technology lines.
Work to install the modular units could begin in June after classes let out for the 2017-18 year. Much of June will be spent getting the units into position and connected to utilities. July will see the installation of furniture, equipment and technology in the modular units in preparation for instruction that starts in August.
As of Thursday, work was still being done to prepare the bid specifications, Farr said. He added though the planning has yet to be finalized, the modular units may be used to provide space for music and art instruction.
“That’s what we are really short on space,” Farr said. “We have the classrooms, but when it comes to space for other purposes ... that is where we are short.”
Director of Facilities Tom Horton has put into the bid specifications the words “new preferred” but “used accepted.” “The hard part of bidding modulars is that very few [suppliers] have new [units] especially when you are leasing, and our lease goes out to 30 months.”
Large class sizes in two sections of the fourth-grade prompted the district early in the current school year to hire a third teacher at Mooreland and to increase the number of hours available to instructional aides.
Parents of fourth-graders enrolled at Mooreland have suggested the use of modular units as one solution to the overcrowding until the district could expand and renovate the school at 329 Wilson St.
If approved, the modular units would not only provide space next school year to address overcrowding, but would allow the district to cycle students between the main building and the temporary classrooms during a future construction project.