Newton schools still selling modular classrooms

COVINGTON -- There are fewer modular classrooms in Newton County's public schools this year, but a few more need to be gone.

Last year, the Newton County Board of Education approved 63 modular buildings as surplus items from the Newton County School System.

So far, NCSS has sold 29 units through the online auction site GovDeals.com.

The units sold for an average price of just more than $600, according to NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter. The funds go into the general fund budget.

An additional six units were transferred last year to other local governmental agencies for use including the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Washington Street Community Center.

Carpenter recently reported that five modular buildings are for sale online and six more units are waiting to be added to the site once all electrical and other hookups have been removed.

In 2010, officials inspected each of the 154 modular buildings' ceilings, walls, floors, outside areas, steps or ramps, doors and windows. Then they rated 93 of them in good or fair condition and 61 in poor condition -- some ceilings were leaking and created mold and mildew stains, some had holes in the walls and some had missing or damaged floor coverings. The ones in poor condition were not in use at any facility.

The unsold buildings remain at their current locations, as it costs nearly $2,000 to move each unit. Power was turned off to buildings that have meter fees, and the NCSS Maintenance & Operations department maintains the exterior of the units as needed and inspects the interior and exterior of each of them twice each year.

All of the unused units weren't surplused because student enrollment is uncertain in the future, so they may be needed, school officials have said.

"We're not trying to get to zero (buildings)," Carpenter said. "We're keeping some on hand -- some are in pretty good condition."