ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – For years, the Albuquerque Public Schools district has been trying to get rid of old portable classrooms. They’ve been selling them to the public but now they’re running into another problem.
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“The portables were really a sign of the time back in the day when Albuquerque Public Schools was exploding especially on the west side,” said APS Communications Executive Director, Monica Armenta.
APS has had a portable problem for years. They were a temporary solution to prevent overcrowding in classrooms about a decade ago. After the district got their hands on capital funding to build more schools, they had around 200 portables they were no longer using.
The lot off Second Street and Menaul was known as the ‘boneyard’ because it had about 50 portables that weren’t being used but this lot is now almost empty. “The portables have been stored at different locations but that particular site at Second and Menaul, it housed four of the portables,” said Armenta.
The district has sold around 87 of them but now they’re running into a new portable problem. “Not everyone who buys the portable picks the portable up,” said Armenta.
On the district’s surplus website, some portables are up for sale at around $800 each. If the buyers don’t pick them up, APS still gets to pocket the money but then the district is still left with the portables on their lots.
“The reason for that seems to be because it isn’t the first time it’s happened, that when people buy these portable buildings they perhaps don’t understand you need a special permit to relocate them and they don’t realize there’s a lot of expense in moving the portables,” said Armenta.
The district said right now six portables have been sold but still haven’t been picked up.
“We’re eager to keep with the process and sell as many of them as we can but it isn’t an easy purchase,” said Armenta. “It’s not like getting rid of vehicles or playground equipment. These are big items and you have to find someone who has a really special use.”
The district said church groups, groups who help the homeless, or anyone needing extra space are some of the interested buyers.