More portables for schools coming this summer

More portables for schools coming this summer
TRI-CITIES -- Despite passing bonds and building new schools, our local districts can't avoid buying portables.

The extra classrooms come at a substantial cost including another two-million in tax payer dollars just for this upcoming school year. Local school districts are still struggling to keep up with the huge jumps in students.

Pasco alone is over capacity in almost every school. It's added at least 600 new students a year for more than a decade. As we've told you before, that's enough kids to fill an entire new elementary school every year.

"The biggest challenge still for us in the aspect of space, is providing the space for the growth that we know we're going to have," says John Morgan with the Pasco School District.

Kennewick continues to remodel schools after passing a bond a few years back. Yet, Kennewick will add 17 portables over the summer to make way for more kids in the upcoming school year. You may recall Kennewick's newest elementary school added portables the second year it was open.

Pasco just recently passed a bond and is moving forward with new construction and remodels. But it can't avoid buying 12 portables this summer, either.

Portables can cost as much as 175-thousand dollars a piece. Some parents see it as a necessary expense.

"I think it's a bad idea, but they're also needed for learning," says Crystal Sugden who has kids in the Pasco School District. She wishes the money spent on portables could go toward something else.

"It could go more on the kids' education. Such as books, computers, I mean, sports activities," she added.

It's hard to find a local student who hasn't been assigned to a portable at one point or another.

Jesse Rojas is a student at Pasco High School.

"Most of us hate having portable classes, because we like to be in the building," he says.

But Jesse understands there can be some benefits, saying, "I pay attention more in the portables it seems, because it's more focused and it just seems better."

Those upsides and downsides will be felt by even more students as the local districts add nearly 30-portables in one summer alone.

Despite a growing number of students, Richland school district is not planning on purchasing any portables for next school year.