Temporary Solution To Overcrowded Lehigh Elementary Is Already Reaching Capacity
Students Cram Inside 4 Portable Classrooms Temporary Solution To Overcrowded Lehigh Elementary Is Already Reaching Capacity.
January 22, 1997by KATHLEEN PARRISH, The Morning Call
To alleviate overcrowding at Lehigh Elementary School, the Northampton Area School District added four portable classrooms. Now, the portable classrooms are bursting at their prefabricated seams.
“We have a lot of kids in there and we’re crowded,” said Principal Bill Connor.
The district bought the classrooms in October after the school board halted a proposed project that would have moved sixth graders at the elementary school to a new middle school.
Since then, the board hired a new archite asics running shoes ct, The Ray Group of Emmaus, to study the condition of the district’s schools and see if they exceed student capacity thresholds set by the state. today in the faculty room at the senior high school.
Interim Superintendent Tom Persing said the study does not give specific recommendations on solving the overcrowding
problem. “It’s an overview of the current status of the facilities,” he said.
The board will also hear the results of a Pennsylvania Economy League study that predicts student population will decline steadily over the next five to 10 years.
Meanwhile, parents of children who attend the Lehigh Elementary School are pressing the issue of the crowded modular classrooms. About 75 of them signed a petition that asked district officials to do something about the lack of space.
“They’re cramped in there, I mean really cramped,” said Lehigh Township resident Linda Blencowe, whose son is a fourth grader at the elementary school.
Bob Gilly, assistant superintendent of personnel and physical facilities, said the district should have ordered larger classrooms, saying the problem originated when the order was placed last spring.
“There wasn’t enough communication between how much classroom space was needed and the preparation of the bid specs,” Gilly said.
Connor said 104 of the 745 Lehigh Elementary students are being housed in the portables. The modulars are roughly two thirds the size of a regular classroom, he said.
Space is so tight there are no rows between desks, and students sit duffel bag to duffel bag. Computers, supplies, overhead projectors, books, television sets and dioramas cram the room to capacity.
“It’s been a difficult adjustment,” Connor said of the smaller quarters, but teachers have handled it well.
Persing, who was hired last month to replace acting superintendent Bob Hassler, said the state Department of Education does not consider portable cla asics running shoes ssrooms a permanent solution to overcrowding. “I think the parents have legitimate concerns,” he said.
School Director Jane Erdo has repeatedly said the portable classrooms are only temporary and will be replaced once the board decides how it wants to resolve the situation.
“We know something has to be done, but we’re not magicians. We can’t pull something out of our hat,” Erdo said. “It’s a temporary measure until we hear what The Ray Group suggests for Lehigh.”
To a fourth grader, Blencowe said asics running shoes , “temporary” could mean a s asics running shoes chool year. “I want to hear how temporary temporary is,” she said. “Two years temporary? Five years temporary?”