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School to get two additional modular rooms temporarily

Feb 27, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Fremont County School District 25 is taking up an old offer from the Wyoming Schools Facilities Department to place three modular classrooms at Rendezvous Elementary School to accommodate a growing number of the third- through fifth-grade population.

The SFD offered three modulars for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, and the district accepted one that now stands on the south side of the school. State funding has been approved again for the lease agreement, delivery and installation of two additional modulars that are expected to be in use for the 2014-2015 school year.

The school board approved the lease with Williams Scotsman on Tuesday to lease the two modular classrooms at $1,107 per month for three years.

"We have room for three," said superintendent Terry Snyder.

Space for students is expected to tighten, with an additional 40 students expected to enroll at Rendezvous for the next school year.

Currently 582 students attend class at Rendezvous, the biggest enrollment of any elementary school in Wyoming. More than 600 are expected in coming years.

Plans will change, Snyder said, when the construction of the new K-3 elementary school building on the south side of Riverton is completed in 2016.

By then, Snyder said, District 25 expects to alleviate the large student population at Rendezvous by moving third-graders out and leaving Rendezvous for fourth- and fifth-graders as was the case in the past.

"We anticipate that this will be our last request for space, and then we'll get moved," Snyder told the school board.

Rendezvous, which originally was a junior high school for grades 7-9, was remodeled in the summer of 2012 to accommodate the third-graders. That helped the K-3 schools in the district move closer to the state required 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio. As a result, however, Rendezvous gained 200 more students.

Rendezvous principal Sheryl Esposito, who was assistant principal then, worked with school staff to design a layout that would avoid the use of modulars. Classes were shuffled around, and the state approved funding for changes to the building. Snyder welcomed the no-modular design, but said he expected the school eventually would need the modulars.

There are about 20 students in each classroom at Rendezvous and about 18 in the K-3 classrooms in the district. Snyder said about 21 students were in the K-3 classrooms when he first joined the district in the 2011-2012 school year.

A state capacity study that included District 25 showed Rendezvous would need a 40 percent remodel accommodate all its students. That idea on hold in anticipation of construction of the new school, Snyder said.

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