After considering renting mobile classrooms at Richmond Intermediate for next school year to accommodate the dual-language program, St. Charles School District 303 board members instead recommended spending $268,030 to remediate mold from mobile classrooms at Davis Primary at their Feb. 5 meeting.
In November, the Board approved a new grade level configuration for Richmond and Davis that includes transitioning to K-5 buildings and housing the dual-language program at Richmond.
The dual-language transition exceeds the space available at Richmond, and will require the use of six mobile classrooms during the 2024-25 school year, while a permanent six-classroom addition is constructed at Richmond for occupancy in the 2025-26 school year.
At their Feb. 5 meeting, the board was presented by staff with three options to alleviate the overcrowding; rent new mobile classrooms at Richmond, use the existing mobile classrooms at Davis for half of the dual-language program, or consolidate the dual-language program to one class per grade level at Richmond.
Air quality tests showed the presence of mold in Davis mobile classrooms, and it was determined that there was mold above the ceiling throughout the mobile unit, which will cost the district $268,029.52 to remediate before they can be used this fall.
The rental of mobile units at Richmond was estimated to cost more than $600,000, and while consolidating dual-language classes was the cheapest option, the much larger class sizes were deemed detrimental to the learning environment.
While multiple board members expressed dissatisfaction with the dual-language program being split between two sites, the board ultimately decided to implement a remediation plan at Davis rather than renting new mobile structures, and recommended awarding a contract to Bear Construction Company to perform the work.
Under this option, grades K-2 of the dual-language program will remain at Davis for the 2024-25 school year, and grades 3-5 will continue at Richmond. The contact will be voted on at the next School Board meeting, Feb. 12.
If the contract is approved, work is expected to begin onsite in April and take about 12 weeks to complete. The estimated timeline shows planning and permitting through March, abatement completed in June and July and August spent preparing classrooms for the next school year.