Update on Addition of Portable Classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School tragedy, District and school leadership remain focused on meeting the needs of students, employees and the entire school community as, together, we work our way through the emotional and difficult recovery process. To provide additional educational space on the MSD campus, including classrooms and dedicated areas for student counseling services, the District is expediting the installation of modular units (portables) at the school.

We understand the importance of these portables to the school community and we are working to complete the installation as quickly as possible, while ensuring the new portables meet MSD space needs, educational codes and safety requirements. Below are more details on the addition of the portables. 

  • Modular Units/Portables – The District is working diligently to expedite providing 34 modular units (portables), which will include:
  • 30 classroom/educational spaces
  • Two portable units dedicated for student counseling/resiliency center
  • Two portable units for restrooms. The District has verified the restroom facilities meet the student population count for the new units. 
  • Expedited Process to Hire a Qualified Vendor – Over the last several months, an expedited, yet thorough, due diligence process was undertaken to identify the most qualified vendor for this initiative.

The District evaluated six different modular/portable vendors to determine which one met the school’s needs, as well as other critical requirements for South Florida building codes, safety and ability to deliver the portable units in an expedited timeframe. 

Last week, the School Board approved a contract with Mobile Modular as the vendor determined to best meet the evaluation criteria and requirements among the candidate vendors. Mobile Modular successfully meets all the following important criteria needed to implement this initiative:

    • Ability to meet South Florida Building code requirements
    • Ability to meet South Florida high velocity winds criteria
    • Ability to deliver units in an expedited timeframe (during summer)
    • Ensure units meet education space requirements
    • Ensure student toilets are code compliant
    • Plans/specifications for units already have signed/sealed State agency approvals, as well as Department of Business and Professional Regulation approvals.

Several other vendors that were considered were either unable to meet the timeframe needed or they were unable to meet other code and safety requirements. 

  • Early Site Preparation – Over the past few weeks, the District leveraged existing continuing services contracts to quickly mobilize with site preparation and related design work, while awaiting delivery of the portables. Site due diligence is already underway, including soil testing, topography surveys and utility location work. Additionally, the District has begun the engineering process to meet essential requirements for electrical services/special systems, including fire alarm, intercom, data and other technology systems. The goal is to prepare the site as much as possible, so the portables can be installed expediently upon delivery, estimated to begin in mid-July. The units will be located on the school’s existing outdoor basketball courts. Indoor basketball facilities remain available for students. School administration is identifying additional basketball accommodations, as needed. 
  • Delivery of Portables – The vendor, Mobile Modular, was recently issued a purchase order to proceed with manufacturing the 34 units and is now finalizing the delivery schedule. The vendor expects to start delivering portable units in mid-July with a goal to have most, if not all units, delivered by the start of school in August. 
  • Connecting and Tying Down the Portables – Once units have been delivered and installed, all necessary utilities must be connected to ensure the modular spaces are safe and functional. This includes electrical, fire alarm, intercom, data, phone and other technology systems. Plumbing is required for the restroom facilities. In addition, portable units must be tied down or anchored to the ground to meet building code requirements. 
  • Phased Implementation – Representatives from the District’s Facilities Department are meeting with vendors to determine the most efficient sequencing plans and finalizing the phasing/implementation schedule. The goal of sequencing is to allow for portables to be released for occupancy as they are completed. The school’s leadership continues to meet with the Facilities Department regarding the phased implementation process and to develop contingency plans, as needed, until the implementation process is completed. 

As we all prepare for the 2018/19 school year, the District and school leadership will continue to provide updates to our students, families, staff and community.


ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS - “Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”:   Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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