A new portable classroom was brought in by a crane to Sooke Elementary School onM arch 17.

Moveable yes, but don’t call the portable!

What looks like a well-designed, solidly built, professionally installed structure found a new home March 17.

Situated slightly to the west of Sooke Elementary was a two-piece modular unit intended to meet the needs of the institution now that full-day kindergarten has begun.

This is a brand-new unit of about 1,100 square feet, hardly bearing a resemblance to the much-maligned “portable” structures which had become common sights at schools across the province. Joined lengthwise in the middle, the space appeared quite comfortable and usable.

A process of installing about 140 of the units was underway with eight destined for School District No. 62, Sooke. Wishart and Poirier Elementaries were each in line for a couple of the units while singles were headed for Sooke Elementary, Hans Helgesen, Willway and Sangster. Shelter Industries of Aldergrove, is the supplier of the modular buildings.

Gus Gustafson, capital foreman with SD No. 62 was on the scene as the kids’ learning quarters were getting set up.

“They’re nicer than traditional portables,” he indicated, “all purpose-built for this application.” They also bring with them amenities, such as roughed-in plumbing.

“The naming of Shelter Industries Inc. as the preferred proponent,” stated a Sept. 3, 2010 Ministry of Education press release, “follows an extensive evaluation of proposals that were submitted to design, build, deliver and install the colourful, warm, and naturally lit classroom spaces.”

The press release went on to state that the classrooms are part of “a $144.5-million plan which includes: school additions, renovations, modular classrooms, new school space and approximately $10 million to furnish and equip classrooms, including the conversion of existing space, to support full-day kindergarten.”

The two units for Ecole Poirier Elementary were due for installation a couple of days after the Sooke Elementary set up.