Since last winter, Western School Division has been searching for ways to make room for their growing student bodies. The Division was approved in July for two new portables at École Morden Middle School which were supposed to arrive before the school year.
"The portables are nearing completion. The deadline is supposed to be the end of January, but we're hoping that it will be sooner than that," says WSD Superintendent, Stephen Ross.
The used portables have been in Morden for approximately a month and a half, and they are currently being renovated to match the current building codes.
Considering the delay in the portables, a number of spaces within the schools have been renovated to make more room for students. "There's not a lot of space in the building, so there were a few storage rooms that were converted to small spaces to work like seminar rooms throughout the building," says Ross.
This has helped combat the situation, but Ross notes that the division is quickly growing and putting pressure on other spaces in the school, as well as impacting class sizes. "We've surpassed our projected enrolment for the fall by quite a few students already, and we anticipate there's going to be quite a few more coming prior to the end of June."
As of early October, 1,871 students were enrolled, but this number has continued to climb becoming one of the larger enrolment jumps within the province.
Ross says, "we did just request another emergency portable for Maple Leaf School actually. We're quite short there for resource/guidance space." As well, the division is already planning to request more portables at the end of January in preparation for the next school year, and Ross notes that it's likely they will need more in the future.