Frequently Asked Questions About Modular Classroom Buildings
Construction planning can be daunting, especially if you have little background in the construction field and are not very familiar with modular classroom buildings. If you feel like this, you want to keep reading.
Once your school begins to exceed its existing capacity or useful life, it is time to begin planning for new classroom space. Depending on the amount of growth and speed of expansion, you may find yourself with a variety of available options. Three primary strategies are to be evaluated:
- Additions to existing structures
- New stand-alone construction
It is not unusual for plans to consider all three (ASU Mag).
Whether you are looking to renovate, add to an existing facility, or incorporate temporary swing space, these frequently asked questions about modular buildings will be useful to you as you begin your school’s expansion process.
What Kind Of Modular Classroom Building Options Do I have?
Basically, you have the options of a temporary modular classroom building and a custom permanent modular classroom building.
Don’t jump to a conclusion yet, because there are two important defining factors needed to create the foundation for all other decisions made around a modular classroom building project, and they are as follows:
- Why is space needed?
- How long will space be needed?
How you answer these two questions is what defines whether you need a standard lease building or a more customized long-term solution. Your answers along with the governing regulatory bodies will also dictate how the site is developed for the building and around the building. The answers will even help you develop a conversation about funding for the project.
You likely can relate to one of these sample answers, and what it might mean for you:
Why is space needed? For displaced students and faculty during a renovation project.
How long will space be needed? Two years.
In this example, it makes a lot of sense to lease a standard modular classroom building for a two-year period. This will provide the on-site space needed, help contain your expenses, and ultimately allow you to free up the land where the building is located when the renovation project is complete. Should you expect the renovation to exceed 5 years, it may be wise to consider purchasing the building instead of leasing or even negotiating a lease with a buyout. Leases can typically be renewed or extended should the need go beyond the initially expected lease term.
Why is space needed? School classrooms are overcrowded.
How long will space be needed? We are not sure because a long-term solution needs to be discussed and funding needs to be approved for the capital expenditure required to expand. We must solve the overcrowding right away and figure the rest out later.
This is an extremely common example we see in schools today. Most schools decide to take the temporary modular classroom solution and see how things play out because they can fund the leasing expense with their operating budget. Some schools choose double-wide classrooms because it gives them a tight variable control of their leased temporary space. Other schools opt for large modular classroom complex buildings, that operate as self-contained stand-along school buildings on campus. Logistics, security, practicality, and need all must play a role in what sort of approach your school chooses. Vanguard Modular is your expert resource who can walk you through the pros and cons of both approaches.
Why is space needed? School classrooms are overcrowded.
How long will space be needed? We have funding in place and are ready to build permanent space, but we need it built before the upcoming school year
Permanent modular building construction is the perfect solution for this scenario. When the construction schedule is a top priority, there is no better method for getting the new space within the time required, than with modular. All your interior and exterior customization needs can be met, and you will be amazed at how quickly the building comes together. It’s all because the modular building is built in road-transportable sections (“modules) at an off-site location inside a factory at the same time the construction site is being prepared for its arrival.
Modular buildings really shine when it comes to leasing, because of their ability to be quickly installed on your site then removed for reuse when they are no longer needed.
On the custom permanent side of things, modular building construction stands out as your top pick when your driving focus is a short construction schedule. If price takes priority over schedule, then the pros and cons of cost, quality, and schedule must be compared with site-built construction for your specific project. This will ensure have the information necessary to make the best decision possible.
The method of modular construction, temporary or permanent, can be used to build practically any type of building.
Keep in mind that the number of students and staff occupying the space will define the size modular classroom building needed. Beyond classrooms, you may also want to know that modular can be used to build many other types of buildings, such as:
- Administrative Offices
- Locker Rooms
- Health Centers
How Much Does It Cost to Build a School Classroom?
In our recent blog, we discussed the dimensions and size of a typical portable classroom building. In addition to building size, it is also important to understand the costs that you can anticipate when planning to build your school’s classrooms.
The costs of a modular classroom building depend on several factors; such as if the classrooms are permanent or temporary if they are leased or purchased, and if there are extra features added.
A general rule of thumb is that typical modular building sale prices range between $50-$100 per square foot (not including site-work, delivery, and installation).
Custom modular classroom buildings have a broader price range, from $70-$400+ per square foot. Each modular building has its own unique set of specifications, so it is important to understand that these ranges are for a general frame of reference. The level of customization is what drives the price (i.e. Exterior Finishes).
When looking to lease a standard modular building, rates can be anywhere from $1 to $1.50 per square foot each month (not including site-work, delivery, and installation). Lease term and building size will be the primary drivers of your monthly rate.
Beyond The Building, What Other Costs Should I Ask About?
Vanguard Modular or your selected modular building dealer typically will handle most, if not all these services for clients.
- Site Preparation
- Utilities, Water, And Sewer
- Installation | Setup
- Decks, Steps, Ramps
- Awnings And Canopies
- Site Restoration, Seeding, & Landscaping
- Paving, Curbs, And Striping
Should I Build New or Purchase Used?
Your budget and specific needs will determine whether you should consider a new building or purchase a used modular building. Used buildings can be a great fit for an organization or school that is seeking to save time and money while delivering functionality, quality, and satisfaction.
Used buildings are already built and can be delivered in a short time frame, provided the proper permits are in place. Not only are used buildings an environmentally friendly way to get space, but they are a less expensive alternative to purchasing or leasing new.
Looking for more information on used modular classroom buildings?
- Used Modular Buildings- Save Time & Money
- Give Used Modular Buildings A Second Glance
- Used Building Inventory SEARCH
Permanent construction offers a long-term solution for your space need. If you are looking to own the building, and plan on using it for decades, then a permanent building structure may be the best option for you. Permanent buildings can be built to stand-alone or as an addition that seamlessly connects with your existing structure, matching the façade and other structural and technological aspects of your current building.
Start Planning Now
Ultimately- any plan, process, or contractual relationship should be started sooner rather than later. There is no substitute for proper preparation. Vanguard Modular would count it a privilege to be your professional modular building dealer and provide you with a turn-key solution that meets your specific needs, budget, and requirements.
For more information on modular buildings, you can find all you need to know in our Modular Building Buyer’s Guide.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you plan your next modular building construction project! (877) 438-8627.