Albuquerque Schools auction off vacant portables

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There’s been a building boom of sorts at Albuquerque Public Schools. They’re now able to fit all the students inside classrooms, which means portables are going extinct.

The lot off second and Menaul is known as the “boneyard” because of all the deserted portables. KRQE News 13 is told there are about 50 portables there, but there are many more on school grounds that are not being used.

Sofia Taylor used to go to Bandelier Elementary. She remembers using these portables.

“Yeah, I spent probably like four years in portables,” said Taylor. 

APS says recently they’ve experienced a building boom, adding more classrooms and even building new schools so the need for portables isn’t as high.

“The problem with portables is that they’re not supposed to be a long term proposition,” said APS Capital Master Plan Executive Kizito Wijemje.

In the district’s capital master plan, many schools like Desert Ridge Middle School and Alamosa Elementary have a portable problem.

“We’ve got more portables than most school districts have buildings in square footage over the state,” said Wijemje.

 In fact, the district has more than 1,500 portables in total, but APS is only using around 1,300. So that means the remaining 200 are sitting vacant on school grounds. The big problem now: how to get rid of them?

View available portables >>

“And now we’ve started auctioning them,” said APS Executive Director of Capital Karen Alarid. “We have one auction a year approximately.”

Officials say it’s been slow to get them off school property but have sold 22 in the last year. They hope to sell 50 more this year.

As for Taylor, she has an idea of what to do with all the space the portables take up.

“They could use that stuff for playgrounds and stuff, not really too sure,” said Taylor. 

Since taxpayers purchased the portables, the district can’t just give them away to anyone. That’s why they’re auctioning them off online. However, if another school district wanted one, they would be able to take it away for free.

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