DeKALB – DeKalb city leaders recently agreed to allow the operation of a mobile classroom at Brooks Elementary School to shore up space inside the building for an additional intensive instructional classroom.
DeKalb District 428′s request to amend a city ordinance to make it happen was approved in an 8-0 decision. A second reading of the petition was subsequently waived in another unanimous vote.
“What we’re doing here is amending the final plan to phase two of the Rivermist subdivision in which Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School can be found in,” City Manager Bill Nicklas said during the July 25 meeting. “That particular plan does not feature a modular classroom.”
Action taken at the DeKalb City Council meeting was not a first. DeKalb city leaders previously approved the location of a mobile classroom at Tyler Elementary and Clinton Rosette Middle schools.
Nicklas said the mobile classroom will temporarily for up to three years extend the district time to find another way to accommodate the needs of its increase in students.
The district is already engaged in discussions on ways to reduce class size in the future and how school officials can work to eliminate mobile classrooms throughout the district, school officials said.
Second Ward Alderwoman Barb Larson questioned if the district has the metrics to know if and when a new school building may be necessary.
Tammy Carson, director of facility and safety operations for DeKalb District 428, said the district is engaged in ongoing conversations on this topic.
“We’ve completed a demographer study as well as a space capacity study, a building capacity study over the past year,” Carson said. “We are looking at options in the district, which could be proposals for additions on a school, could be new school buildings, could be purchasing buildings. There’s a number of avenues we’re looking at, which then could in that equation would be the removal of our mobile classrooms units that we have out there.”
Carson acknowledged that discussions on the district’s facility needs may take significant time, but said many have been going on this year and are expected to continue.