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Sandy Hook Portables Just Like Regular Classrooms



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Sandy Hook Portables Just Like Regular Classrooms

By Tanjua Damon

The new modular classrooms at Sandy Hook School don’t seem to be a problem for the fourth graders who are housed in them. New furniture and air conditioning are perks many of the students wouldn’t care to trade now that school has started and they have gotten a feel for the portables.

With the beginning of school just last week, Sandy Hook already has an estimated student population of 730. Overcrowding is the major reason the modular classrooms were added onto the school, so that more room could be provided to educate the students effectively at Sandy Hook.

“I’m extremely pleased because it provides us the space,” Sandy Hook Principal Donna Pagé said. “I’m thankful of the team effort that went into putting this into place, starting with the budget process.”

Students housed in the modular classrooms are not isolated from the rest of the school population. The modular classrooms are connected right to the permanent school structure. It’s just like another hallway leading the way to another part of the school where four classrooms, a conference room, and rest rooms can be found.

“They far exceeded our expectations,” Assistant Principal Cathy Mazzariello said. “We knew they would do well. We’re pleased. Teachers were able to get their rooms decorated on time. Everything was finished as the contractors promised.”

Newtown Superintendent John R. Reed said the modular classrooms are working for now and the district will make a decision this year on whether or not to purchase the now leased classrooms. The plans for a 5/6 school are still in the works that will also help to deal with the overcrowding in elementary schools like Sandy Hook.

“I can only tell you from talking with the teachers and the principal who are working there, they seem to be quite pleased with the facilities,” he said. “Mr Posca did a really good job with the company who generated the modular classrooms.”

The modular classrooms are not separate from the school, which helps keep the students united with the entire school population, where in the past portables were not part of the school and students had to walk outside to get back into the main building of a school. The new classrooms at Sandy Hook also take up playground space at the school.

“The key is the walkway that is connected to the school,” Dr Reed said. “The kids who use them feel they are going down a corridor. You’re not expanding core facilities… You’re adding classrooms for one number of kids and taking away from playground space.”

The Newtown Board of Education approved the modular classrooms in March of this year. Arthur Building Systems of Bristol was awarded the contract to supply the school with rooms. The district is leasing the portables for three years for just over $7,000 per month for three years. There is also a $19,565 removal cost in the contract.

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