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Mobile Classrooms Discontinued at North, East and Davis

The+North+mobile+unit+will+be+removed+along+with+the+East+and+Davis+mobiles.
Natalie Hannah
The North mobile unit will be removed along with the East and Davis mobiles.

Usage of the mobile units at St. Charles North High School, St. Charles East High School and Davis Elementary has been discontinued after positive mold tests. District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon estimated that each mobile unit will be removed in the next 30 to 45 days, with only the mobile unit at Davis being replaced.

Mold testing occurred shortly before the start of the school year after a teacher reported a strange smell in the mobiles. The initial test came back positive and teachers and students were informed on Aug. 15.

Further testing found mold in six mobile classrooms at North. Levels of mold were also found in the mobile units at East and Davis.

“We retested multiple units and it continued to come back positive,” said Gordon. “Similar situations [to what] occurred at North occurred at East and at Davis elementary school.”

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According to Gordon, the district is searching for a contractor to demolish the mobiles at the three schools.

“We’re hoping within the next 30 to 45 days that those will be demolished and taken off site,” said Gordon.

Gordon also estimated that a newer mobile unit would be installed at Davis by the start of winter break.

“The mobiles at Davis were also discontinued; however, we are bringing other mobiles back in because we simply just don’t have the number of classrooms at Davis that we need,” said Gordon.

D303 was already considering discontinuing mobile usage in the next few years before the positive mold tests.

“It was definitely on my radar … that we needed to start discontinuing use of the mobiles,” said Gordon. “However, we weren’t anticipating it being this year.”

The district cited the susceptibility of the mobiles to wear as a reason for their discontinuation.

“[The mobiles] sit directly on soil, so they don’t have a great drainage system on them,” said Gordon. “In rain, the water would pool up near or even underneath the mobiles and the mobiles would start absorbing all of the liquid and it would sit within the walls.”

The mobiles could also pose a potential security risk.

“It’s not a brick-and-mortar facility, it’s easier to penetrate and be able to get into, so I would much rather all of our students and staff be under the brick and mortar of a regular facility than out there,” said Gordon.

The loss of mobile classrooms at North, East and Davis comes at a time when the district is in the process of redistricting to address elementary school overcrowding. According to Gordon, North and East will see less impact than elementary schools, but some current North students may be redistricted to East or vice versa for the next school year.

“Each school in District 303 will be impacted by the boundaries, the level of their impact will vary, but each school will have an impact,” said Gordon.

D303 is still in the early stages of redistricting, with the school board slated to decide on guiding principles for managing the redistricting during a meeting on Oct. 10 and then seeking public opinion on the potential plans.

“Then on November 28 and 29, we’ll be doing almost like an open house to our community to see the different scenarios to comment on the different scenarios,” said Gordon.

The district will not take final action on redistricting until Feb. 12.

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About the Contributors
Tyler Moore, Editor In Chief
Tyler Moore is the editor-in-chief for the Stargazer. He is a senior at North, and this is his third year on the staff. Tyler engages in student journalism because it helps him engage in events at North and talk to new people.
Natalie Hannah, Media Editor
Natalie is a graphic designer for the Stargazer. She is a junior, and this is her second year on staff. Natalie engages in student journalism because she enjoys creating art and sharing it with others.

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