The Washington School District will lease modular trailers for two elementary schools this fall.
At a special meeting last Thursday, the school board approved entering into a lease contract with Satellite Shelters, St. Charles, for a total of four new trailers, two of which are double-wides, for Marthasville and South Point schools.
The trailers will provide three classrooms at each site, officials said.
The trailers will be air-conditioned, but will not have bathrooms.
The initial recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer, who was out of town and not at the meeting, was to enter into a 36-month lease with a diffent vendor for a combination of new and used trailers, but after considerable discussion board members felt leasing all new units would be better in the long run.
The board also considered tabling a decision to gather more information, but officials said there is a time crunch to get the trailers built and on site by the start of the school year.
Exactly how long the trailers will be needed is not known, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon, because a decision has not been made on when to go back to voters with another bond issue for new construction and building improvements.
Board member Scott Byrne voiced concerns with the first recommendation of Sustainable Modular Management, O’Fallon, because they would use an out-of-state subcontractor to install the trailers.
“I just found this out this morning otherwise I would have let everyone know sooner,” said Byrne, adding school officials could contact the company and tell them only a local or subcontractor could do the job.
“I don’t know if we can negotiate this or not,” he said, “or do we pick a different one.”
The board also debated whether the district should enter into a longer lease, but school officials said extending the lease will not be a problem.
In the end, the board decided to enter into a 36-month lease with Satellite Shelters for all new trailers at a cost of $4,350 per month for all four. There also will some start-up and tear-down fees.
Satellite offed the lowest cost for all new units.