Site Selection for Modular Classrooms and Buildings
By: Brian Gallagher - Saturday, June 15, 2002
Source: GBM Marketing, Inc.

Identifying an area on a school site or campus to install a modular classroom, can be challenging for facility directors. Often this is the biggest hurdle to utilizing modular buildings for classrooms.  Classroom buildings have unique requirements. View the space planning and site selection process as an opportunity to create an effective and comfortable learning environment.

Modular classrooms are typically installed on parking lots, open areas, and athletic fields. While this may seem like an easy solution, cannibalizing parking spaces and baseball fields can negatively impact students, teachers, staff, and the community.

Providing easy access to the modular classroom and the main building is crucial. The installation of  concrete or asphalt walkways creates a sense of permanence.  Safe, well-constructed steps and ramps will allow for easy access to the modular building. Installation of canopies, covered walkways and corridors can effectively make the modular classroom “part” of the school.  Furthermore, they also help protect students and staff from the weather and harsh elements.

Consider using signage to clearly identify buildings. School sites and campuses with numerous modular buildings can be intimidating and confusing. Visible signage can help students, staff, and emergency personnel to easily find and access modular buildings.

Installing landscape elements such as decorative stone, mulch, bushes and flowers can help create a welcoming sense of comfort. If the modular building will be used in the evening, proper lighting will help provide easy access and enhance safety.  

Careful planning  for the site location of modular buildings is essential.  It is important to remember that the modular building and its location on campus can significantly contribute to the perception of students, staff and the community. Proper planning is the difference between modular classrooms being perceived as “the trailer out back,” or  “another part or the school.”

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