NCSS to use same amount of trailers

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is expecting to operate with the same number of school trailers this school year as it did last year, but some of those were moved around over the summer.

The school system uses more than 150 trailers for classroom space and storage.

According to a July administrative services report, maintenance workers relocated 13 trailers this summer.

Bill Rosser, director of maintenance for NCSS, said the average cost to relocate a trailer is about $5,000 per unit.

"This includes fire alarms, power, intercoms, steps, stoops or ramps (and) code improvements," he said.

In the past, the school system has purchased trailers for about $15,000 each.

Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration at NCSS, said rezoning and student growth determine when a trailer is needed or not needed at a school. Also, if a new classroom is needed and no space is available, a trailer is placed on the school grounds.

So far this school year, the school system isn't seeing much growth in the area of new students, but the school system has processed 450 applications from parents of students in the school system who wish to transfer their student from their assigned home school at Middle Ridge and Porterdale Elementary schools and Clements Middle School due to being on the state's Needs Improvement list.

Middle Ridge Elementary hasn't used trailers at its school, and Porterdale Elementary once had 13 trailers during the 2006-07 school year before using 12 trailers since last school year.

Clements Middle's campus was home to 18 trailers during the 2006-07 school year before only having three on its grounds for the 2007-08 school year; this year, the school is expected to utilize two trailers.

Last school year, at least 307 students transferred from Clements Middle, including 175 to Indian Creek and 132 to Cousins; this year, at least 335 more students will transfer from Clements Middle - 168 to Veterans Memorial and 167 to Cousins.

Indian Creek Middle had six trailers during the 2006-07 school year before needing 17 last school year; it anticipates using 19 trailers this school year. Cousins Middle's campus held three trailers during the last two school years and is expected to use six trailers this school year.

Veterans Memorial Middle used 18 trailers during the 2006-07 school year, 19 last school year and is expected to use 20 this school year.

Also, with the recent addition of South Salem Elementary School on the southwest side of the county, the new school was to help alleviate some of the high student numbers at some of the schools on the west side of the county, including Livingston, Oak Hill, Porterdale and West Newton elementary schools.

During the 2006-07 school year, Livingston had 13 trailers, Oak Hill had nine, Porterdale had 13 and West Newton had 14. In 2007-08, Livingston had 16 trailers, Oak Hill and Porterdale had 12 and West Newton had 17. This school year, Livingston is expected to have 10 trailers, Oak Hill and Porterdale 12 and West Newton 10.

For the 2009-10 school year, NCSS is expected to open a new middle school and elementary school on the west side of the county.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.