August 27, 2014 8:09 pm

Edmonton Catholic schools short modular classrooms

Watch above: Rising enrolment numbers and limited space at Edmonton schools are plenty to contend with, but now some elementary schools are facing an additional shortage of space. Shallima Maharaj explains.

EDMONTON – Some students in Edmonton will be heading back to school to temporary classrooms.

The Edmonton Catholic School District says it’s waiting on 16 modulars and they won’t be delivered until mid-October at the earliest.

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Lori Nagy, manager of media relations with Edmonton Catholic Schools, says 11 schools will be impacted. Nagy was not able to provide the names of the schools, just that they are all elementary schools.

While the situation is creating some challenges, Nagy says Edmonton Catholic Schools has a plan in place.

“Every child will have a desk, will have a place to sit. We will have to use spaces that aren’t typically educational spaces,” she said Wednesday. “For instance, perhaps a staff room or a library or a music room, but we still can accommodate all of the students.”

Alberta Infrastructure says the reason for the delay is because it’s using a new manufacturer.

“We’ve been working with them, but some extra time was needed to ensure that the prototypes that they were building for us met the educational standards,” said Sharon Lopatka, director of communications with Alberta Infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Public School Board has ordered 18 portables, 12 of which are ready for transport and the remaining six are expected to arrive by early September.

Transportation of all 18 will happen in September, and installation is expected to take two months, so they won’t be ready for students until December.

However, Ayesha Moughel, a spokesperson for Edmonton Public, says the portables aren’t required this September to address spacing issues, so the time frame won’t present a problem.

In February, Edmonton Public shrunk its attendance boundaries to handle student population growth.

Since 2005, 46 new neighbourhoods have been served by Edmonton Public. More than 11,000 of the students who attend public schools live in those newer areas.

READ MORE: Edmonton Public Schools facing influx of younger students

Over the past two years, a number of local schools ordered portables to help ease spacing challenges due to increased enrollment.

In September 2013, some schools, including Donald Massey, combined several classes into one to save space. Esther Starkman and Johnny Bright schools used the gym or library as classrooms until more portables arrived.

With files from Shallima Maharaj, Global News.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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