Mobiles on the move

By on February 12, 2009

by Lynn Meredith
With the slow-down of growth in the Kaneland School District and the construction of a new middle school, the mobile classrooms that have served the district in its time of need are being let out to pasture. Those that are leased will be returned; the district-owned mobiles will be sold or find other uses. But nothing will happen until all’s clear and the new school is up and running.

“I recommend we don’t do anything with them until we’re sure we don’t need them, just to have them here as a fall-back if-we’re not saying ‘when’-but ‘if ‘ we would need them,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Runty said.

Two of the leased mobiles are at the middle school, and one sits at John Stewart Elementary. The leases are up Nov 1. Runty recommends that the mobiles be returned at that time. The timing will allow the district to use them if there would happen to be any problems getting into the new school at the beginning of the year.

All three are double-wides and cost $10,000 to $14,000 annually to lease. The sites on which the middle school mobiles are located could not be used again in the future, so the removal would be permanent. The John Stewart site could be used again in the future if necessary. However, removing the mobiles frees up more parking spaces and aids traffic flow.

Two of the district-owned mobiles at the north of the middle school are of little resale value due to their age and poor condition. If they are left where they are, they are grandfathered in by fire regulations. If they are moved, they could not be returned to the same spot in the future. Fire code prevents them from being placed that close to the building.

“Sales of mobiles are not particularly fruitful financially,” Runty said. ” But at least we would not endure the cost of moving them—that would be up to the buyer.”

The three mobiles in the back of the middle school are in good condition and are not in the way of anything. Runty recommends that they be retained for future use, maintained and made available for storage. They could also be converted into office space.

The Facilities Planning Committee reviewed the recommendations and agreed that waiting until after the opening of the new school to do anything with the mobiles would be prudent. The School Board agreed to revisit the issue after Sept. 1.