The Brandon School Division is submitting a request for 12 portable classroom units to the Public Schools Finance Board for the upcoming 2013-14 school year in hopes of accommodating Brandon’s ever-growing population.
"Our schools are rapidly growing with enrolment," school board chair Mark Sefton said. "We are at capacity in pretty much all of our schools and we need the extra classroom space."
Although trustees agreed to pass a motion during their regular meeting on Monday night, it’s difficult to say how many portable classrooms the province will award the school division at this time.
"There really is no way of influencing them," Sefton said. "We should know more by May."
At a price tag of nearly $200,000 each, one portable classroom can host 20 to 25 students. Some of the schools that are being looked at as potential sites for a set of portable classrooms include Meadows School, Betty Gibson School, George Fitton School and Earl Oxford School.
Funds for the requested portable classrooms will be coming from the Public Schools Finance Board, but the school division will have to cover the connection fees. School board members were informed that $7,000 for each portable classroom will be set aside in the upcoming budget to cover extra costs, BSD secretary-treasurer Kevin Zabowski said.
The school board will then be in charge of finalizing which schools will be awarded with more space.
"Our demographics change from month to month, so we will have to see where we’re at when the time comes," Sefton said.
School board discussions will soon be switching over to more budgetary concerns as they are presented with the first draft of the budget on Jan. 21. A public consultation will take place on Feb. 6 at Earl Oxford School, leading up to the division’s all-day budget deliberations on Feb. 19.
The board will then hear public presentations on March 4 before voting on the final budget March 11.