Two Arcadia elementary schools will have some room to grow when they receive portable classrooms next fall to ease overcrowding.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board voted 4-1 in favor of purchasing two portable classrooms for both Tavan Elementary and Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center.
The portable classrooms, which will cost more than $220,000, will house kindergarten classes at Tavan, 4610 E. Osborn Road, and band and string classes at the learning center, 4330 N. 62nd St.
Board member Molly Holzer voiced concern over a lack of facilities planning that led to the crunch in the first place, while at the same time leaving some other schools in the district far below capacity.
Member Christine Schild, who voted against the proposal, agreed.
“We are here once again, because of poor facilities planning. We’re allowing the facilities to drive our decisionmaking,” she said. “I’m not willing to go there.”
Schild also questioned spending money on portables that will accommodate an enrollment increase that is, in part, due to out-of-district students who attend the schools through open enrollment.
But district Superintendent John Baracy said those students provide valuable state funding for Scottsdale schools.
“Tavan has 142 children from out of the district. Let’s say (they) stay with us from kindergarten through 12th grade,” he said. “In 12 and a half years, they have brought in $9.2 million dollars.”
Baracy said the district is actively seeking ways to increase enrollment at other schools, and that officials are looking at the possibility of adding a traditional school, like Cheyenne Traditional, in the southern part of the city.
The board approved the portable classroom plan with the condition that the portables do not stay at the schools very long, and that the next bond election will address overcrowding at the schools.