Portables to be removed due to STEM building

By: Amanda Oppegard

At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, the 600 building portables will be removed from school campus due to the extra space that the new STEM building will provide. Science teachers that currently occupy the 200 building will move into the STEM building and the teachers currently
situated in the portables will be relocated to the older science classrooms.
Before the move, the 200 building science classrooms will be reconfigured into “standard classrooms” instead of rooms that contain gas and other lines that need to be capped.
The portables, specifically the 600 building portables that were moved
near the football field over the summer, are in poor condition. Greta Huneke, AP Government and U.S. History teacher, is currently situated in one of the portable classrooms. She reports that there is a large hole in the floor due to mice eating through the carpet, a constant smell of skunks that spray underneath the portable, stains on the carpets, and speakers that do not work, impeding the class’ ability to hear the bell or announcements. Despite these disadvantages, Huneke said that teaching in a portable is beneficial because it is large, there are multiple windows providing an outside view, and there is an extra office space.
Students, however, have different opinions on the portables that they are taught in every day.
“The disadvantage of being taught in one of the 600 portable classrooms
without loudspeakers or bells is not great, but I think a major issue is the thin walls between portables,” sophomore Madella Thai said. “I know that when my class watches a video, it is greatly disturbing to neighboring classes–some say that they can hear the video better than we can.”
Principal Mark Sims taught in a portable classroom for his final seven
years of teaching and said he would never want to teach in a regular classroom again.
“Having portable classrooms, from a teacher’s perspective as somebody
who taught in them, it was a nice place because they were more open, you got more light, you could open windows,” Sims said. “Others felt it was too
Portables are usually a short-term solution for periods of construction on a school campus, but the portables at San Marin have been on campus for close to 9 years.
“According to the inspectors, everything is structurally fine,” Sims
said. “All of our classrooms here in general are in bad shape and they need to be modernized.”
Sims added that he is an advocate for making the students feel comfortable in the classrooms and said that getting new desks and chairs in the classrooms would be beneficial.
“Education has changed and we are still treating it like it is the 1970’s with some of our classrooms,” Sims said.

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