Hillcrest Elementary To Get More Portable Classrooms

- FREDERICK, Md - At Hillcrest elementary, you will find happy children, but they're running out of room. The school has been pushing to relieve the busy hallways and excess portables which house 298 more children than it's capacity.

"Overcrowding has been an issue at our school. We've had this many portables for a number of years," said Kimberly Seiss, principal of Hillcrest.

The county's long term plan is to build a school that will be up and running by 2018 but with Hillcrest projected to have 1,027 students next year, a new school seems light years away.

"This is a title one school so its supposed to have the smaller classrooms which is why we have so many portables because we need to keep the classrooms small," said Jennifer Giove, PTA communications chair at Hillcrest.

The Frederick County Board of Education approved two 12-room portable classrooms also known as megapods, which will help reduce classroom sizes.

According to Frederick County government's fiscal 15-20 capital project summary, Hillcrest is operating at 120 percent capacity with 20 portables. The two approved megapods will cost nearly $1.5 million dollars and will include a total of 24 classrooms, one set of bathrooms per megapod, ramps and wireless capability.

"Its a great temporary solution because while they wait for a new school it will provide them relief. It will provide them with more security, greater access to restrooms. They won't have to go so much back and forth between the buildings," said Joy Schaefer, president of the Frederick County Board of Education.

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