Modular classrooms being removed

Modular classrooms that had been in use the past three years to house students from flooded schools are being removed, said Superintendent Mark Vollmer.

Vollmer said the modular classrooms are being removed this week from the Minot Municipal Auditorium parking lot, which had housed students from Erik Ramstad Middle School until last December, when the new Ramstad opened in northwest Minot. They will be stored temporarily at the site of the old Ramstad on Lincoln Avenue until they can be permanently removed from the area.

Vollmer said repair work must be done on the parking lot at the Auditorium, where the classrooms were located.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for the lion’s share of the cost of the classrooms, which the school district had been temporarily leasing. The classrooms will now be leased to other school districts throughout the country. A company called Innovative Modular Solutions is responsible for moving the modular classrooms.

“They want to get them out on the road as soon as they can,” said Vollmer.

He said the classrooms would have been moved earlier, but poor road conditions this spring such as road heaving made moving the modulars a tricky proposition.

The modulars should all be moved out within the next couple of weeks.

The school district is currently in the closeout process with FEMA. Some issues still are yet to be resolved, such as what will happen to a temporary building built at Longfellow Elementary that served as a combination gymnasium and cafeteria while the school was being renovoated and added onto. The district and FEMA have yet to come to an agreement over the purchase price of the building or whether it must be torn down.

Vollmer said the district will lease modular classrooms to use in the 2014-15 school year as a temporary home at Jefferson Early Childhood Center for Central Campus Plus, its alternative school program for ninth and 10th graders.

The modular classrooms were in use at the Auditorium, at Longfellow and at Jefferson following the Souris River flood of 2011.

“We’ve come a long way since the flood,” said Vollmer. “Those portable classrooms really served us well in the midst of a crisis. They were a good temporary solution. In 2011, in 40 days we had 60 classrooms set up. Every student had a desk in a building, even though it was a temporary building.