The Bottom Line – Lower Cost Options for School Expansion
From the National Center for Education Statistics, from school years 2011–12 through 2023–24, overall public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase by 5 percent (from 49.5 to 52.1 million students). And with a rising school population comes the need for additional classroom space, resource spaces, and administrative spaces.
Perhaps your school district has dealt with this problem in the past, opting for a costly building expansion or undertaking the cost of constructing a new building within the district. Or, perhaps your district is only now feeling the demand of a growing student population. No matter if this is a new issue for your community or you’ve been through this challenge before, lower cost options for school expansion is top-priority for every growing public school district, private school or charter school.
It’s no longer necessary to find and purchase immense plots of lands within your school zone to break ground on brand-new construction. According to the Modular Building Institute, 260,000 classrooms across the U.S are in “relocatable” modular buildings, a lower cost expansion option that local taxpayers and tuition payers are sure to approve of.
The Bottom Line for Your Budget
Many schools are taking advantage of off-site construction of classrooms, libraries, laboratories, offices and cafeterias and realizing tremendous time and cost savings. One San Diego school district expected to save up to 15.8 million dollars by using modular buildings for their district expansion.
What makes modular classrooms and educational spaces a lower cost option for school expansion is the unique efficiencies of the factory setting, assembly process for modular construction. This type of construction setting offers the ability to perform extensive quality control, avoiding many imperfections frequently found in onsite projects.
Additionally, the nature of an off-site location allows for less waste. Because weather conditions are not an issue for the majority of the building process, there is less waste of costly materials ruined by the elements and fewer wasted days caused by inclement weather and unworkable conditions. Leftover materials can often be used on another project rather than being discarded.
The Bottom Line for Your Timeline
The benefit of the modular construction schedule is that site development and foundation preparation are taking place on-site at the same time as the building fabrication at the off-site factory. Utilizing modular construction can reduce your “time to occupancy” by as much as 50%, which is critical when the first day of school is quickly approaching.
The Bottom Line for Quality
The simple truth is that when it comes to structural integrity, modular buildings are built to be stronger. They have to be even more structurally sound to withstand the transportation to the final build site, as well as withstand the crane operation that is used to place the final components.
The exterior finishes offered in modular building today can make it so any modular expansion matches the exterior of the rest of your campus. There is no need for your modular additions to stick out like a sore thumb. Internally, flooring, ceilings, lighting, ventilation, and heating/cooling systems are on par with what is provided from traditional construction.
Quality of life for your campus and surrounding communities is also improved through modular building. With only a minimal amount of time spent on the final construction site, there is less noise, pollution, and destruction of green space.
Is your public, private or charter school looking for lower cost options for school expansion? What questions do you have on using modular building to expand your campus? Ask them in the comments below!