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District plans to buy portables

Hart has been using most of the 129 leased classrooms from state

Posted: July 2, 2008 1:23 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2008 5:03 a.m.

The Hart district will purchase 129 portable classrooms that it has been leasing from the state, most of which are currently in use, as the state retires from the business of leasing out portable classrooms.

School districts that have been leasing the classrooms over the past few years have been given the choice to either purchase the buildings or return them in like-new condition.

However, with the cost of restoring the buildings usually as much or more than the cost of purchasing them, there isn’t really much of a choice.

The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board voted to buy the classrooms during its June 25 meeting.

“I guess the good news is, we won’t ever have to make those lease payments again,” Rob Gapper, chief operations officer for the district, told the board.

The total cost of purchasing the portable classrooms is $885,000, which the district will pay over five years by taking advantage of California’s interest-free installment plan.

The district had been paying the state $516,000 in annual lease payments.

“This is the third and final cycle, so we won’t have to deal with this again,” Gapper said.

Gapper told the board that he had also just learned that any of the portable classrooms from cycle 1, 2 or 3 that is not currently on a school site would no longer meet Department of State Architect standards.

“We have to be very careful not to take any portable that we need off campus, because we won’t be able to put them back on again,” said board member Dennis King.

The portable classrooms cannot even be moved from one campus to another, Gapper said.

“This certainly falls into the category of the list of wacky things that the state forces us to do that I am currently compiling,” Gapper said.


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