‘We are at capacity’: Horry County Schools looks to add nearly 40 more modular classrooms

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Horry County Board of Education will vote at Monday night’s board meeting on the approval of purchasing extra modular classrooms for the 2022-2023 school year.

The district is seeing overcrowding issues at nearly half of its schools and is looking to add about 600 students next year.

“We are in the budget process getting ready for next school year and so we do know that we are at capacity at several of our schools and so we need to bring in some additional modular classrooms,” said Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement for Horry County Schools Lisa Bourcier.

They are requesting 36 modular classrooms and three restrooms. Carolina Forest Elementary needs four modular classrooms while River Oaks Elementary, Waccamaw Elementary, Carolina Forest and Myrtle Beach High School all are requesting eight.

There are already 23 of Horry County’s schools that are a Category 1 (Red Zone), meaning they are at 95% of their designed capacity threshold.

Under no exceptions are students allowed to transfer to a school in the Red Zone, even if they have a sibling that already attends.

The estimated cost to purchase these modular classrooms and three restrooms is $6,692,618. This total estimated cost includes all the components necessary to operate including delivery, set up and utilities plus ramps, steps and parking.

“We already have the money within our budget to purchase,” said Bourcier. “We thought about leasing them. It is a little bit more expensive to lease the modular classrooms, but what’s great about it is we can disassemble them and relocate them to a different property if we needed to down the road.”

Modular classrooms aren’t new. The school district already has 88 modulars at different locations across the county. They used to be referred to as portables, but they’ve come a long way in the past few years.

“So it looks like a regular building,” said Bourcier. “They have hallways. A lot of them have restrooms. They’re all tied to our electrical panels, our security panels, fire alarm panels. So it does take a while to assemble them so it is important that we go ahead and put the order in so we’re prepared for the next school year.”

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the District Office in Conway.

Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.