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    How Do Portables Get Moved?
    Posted on 10/24/2019
    Portable classroom being lowered by crane

    How Do Portables Get Moved?

    In September, students returning to some schools found new portable classrooms had been placed over the summer — or that former portables had been removed from the school. In total, nine classrooms were transported from one school to another during the summer of 2019.

    Seattle Public Schools often uses portable classrooms to address the need for more classroom space at district schools. Usually referred to simply as “portables,” these transportable buildings provide flexible options. They can be installed quickly and then removed if they are no longer needed due to construction or lower enrollment. With enrollment growth, the district has placed 105 portable classrooms in the past five years (2014–2018) to increase capacity at schools throughout the district.

    But how do they get moved?

    The slideshow below shows portables being removed from Bagley Elementary School and being installed at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. Moving portables requires a city permit and City of Seattle Commercial Vehicle Enforcement escorts. Portable units can be moved through the city streets only in early morning hours.


    Portables moved: Summer 2019

    • Single portable (portable 7) from Bagley Elementary to Robert Eagle Staff Middle School
    • Two single portables (1-classroom each) from Ingraham High School to Robert Eagle Staff Middle School
    • Double portable (2-classrooms) from Bagley Elementary to Jane Addams Middle School
    • Double portable from Bagley Elementary to North Beach Elementary
    • Double portable from Roxhill building to North Beach Elementary

    An addition, currently under construction, will make Bagley Elementary larger. The portables are no longer needed and had to be moved to make way for the construction project. An addition at Ingraham High School was completed during the summer and opened for students in September, which allowed those portables to be used elsewhere. The Roxhill building no longer needed the portable that was removed because Roxhill Elementary moved to the E.C. Hughes School in Fall 2018.

    Like Eagle Staff Middle School, North Beach Elementary and Jane Addams Middle School needed more classroom space for students. 

    Future portable moves

    The district has created a Portable Management Plan to show a priority list for relocating, demolishing, or refurbishing/replacing portables through the 2025-26 school year.