San Anselmo’s Wade Thomas Elementary School gets new modular classrooms

San Anselmo’s Wade Thomas Elementary School gets new modular classrooms By: Janis Mara (jmara@marinij.com) Monday, July 20, 2015 – 6:42 p.m. Portable classrooms sit behind fencing Monday at Wade Thomas Elementary School in San Anselmo. The installation of the classrooms, a new playground and landscaping is expected to be completed by late August. (Frankie Frost/Marin Independent Journal) Three new modular classrooms costing $810,000 were set to be placed on their foundations Tuesday at Wade Thomas Elementary School as part of Measure A construction at the San Anselmo school, officials said. Trucks last week hauled the modular classrooms in 10 separate pieces to the school. Each 12-foot-wide section is to be set into place by a crane, and the next steps include finishing the interiors, connecting electrical and plumbing outlets, installing cabinets and moving in furniture, said Ross Valley schools Superintendent Rick Bagley. “All of this work, in addition to resurfacing the playground, installing a new playground structure and landscaping, will be complete by the start of school in late August,” Bagley said in an email. In addition to the three new classrooms, there will be an added restroom, Bagley said. The classrooms, which replace three older portable buildings, are about 960 square feet each, the size of a typical classroom, Bagley said. The rooms are built to accommodate the number of students any other classroom could accommodate, Bagley said. “For elementary, the maximum in fourth and fifth grade size is approximately 30 students, but districts have historically accommodated even more students in this size room for many decades,” Bagley said. Voters passed the $41 million Measure A bond in 2010, allowing the district to replace the 19-year-old portable classrooms at White Hill Middle School with permanent structures and add new classrooms to the district’s four elementary schools. As part of Measure A, new seventh- and eighth-grade buildings were completed at White Hill in March 2013. “The enrollment at White Hill has been increasing because of an enrollment bubble that has been working its way up through the grades. We expect this to level off in the next few years, however,” Bagley said. Enrollment at Wade Thomas is leveling off, just as it is in the Ross Valley School District overall, Bagley said. The school had about 407 students at the end of the 2014-15 school year, a drop from 448 in the previous school year. Bagley expects 2015-16 enrollment to be about 409 students, “which actually reflects no significant change either way,” he said. As a whole, there’s not that much difference in enrollment for the district in the past two school years. Enrollment was 2,300 for the most recent school year and 2,291 for the year before, Bagley said. “We do not see our overall district enrollment necessarily increasing for the next few years. Instead, overall we see the trend to be basically level or perhaps even declining by a small margin,” the superintendent said. David Nolen Swaim Owner Tam Realty Inc DRE-1070789 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 415-710-5504 www.tamrealty.com

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