Modular school buildings specialists, MTX Education, highlight the ways modular classrooms could be cheaper to help ease the dilemma of increasing pupils and tight funding for schools
The team at MTX Education are increasingly aware that school budgets are becoming more challenging to manage. With increased numbers of pupils per school but no proportional increase in funding, most schools are tight on space. Educational leaders and managers have always been asked to be imaginative and resourceful.
Construction is a huge commitment for any school. We thought we would highlight the ways that modular classrooms could be cheaper. We also want to show how, with this imagination and resourcefulness, you could make this additional space pay for itself.
A low-cost build solution
Modular classrooms are no longer the shed at the edge of the school grounds. They are far more permanent and attractive than the prefab hut that was always too hot in the summer and artic in the winter. Yet, they are still a low-cost solution to construction, where your plans can be realised in a matter of weeks.
In short, modular classrooms offer you a double win. First, you win because they are so much cheaper than traditional constructions options, with just as many choices. Second, you win because you have the flexibility to choose to expand and the work will be done in a matter of weeks, without the need for a costly and unsafe building site.
The expected lifespan of your modular classroom is 50 years plus. However, they are also designed to move. This means if your school goes through radical change, which is not beyond imagination, then this modular classroom can change location. The fear that a costly investment might be wasted suddenly evaporates.
How do modular classrooms save money?
Modular classrooms are energy efficient. They come insulated, with double glazing, and so will retain the heat in the winter, while staying relatively cool in the summer months. This will save you money on your energy bills. In the current climate of rising electricity costs, this is no small saving. You can almost hear the school business manager humming happily! You might even have to stop nagging staff to turn off the lights when leaving the classrooms.
Maintenance costs could also prove lower for schools. Young people can be notoriously tricky humans to contain in small places, and they tend to push at the sides of the building. As this is a modular design, the parts are easily and cheaply order to counter any potential damage to your modular classroom.
How can prefab classrooms make money?
First, with the added space, you can increase your capacity. More students do mean a larger budget. More classroom space allows you to manage numbers and strategically budget for numbers that make the most of all your resources. There is, for instance, an optimal number of students to staff that could be better utilised with flexibility of classroom space.
Secondly, your modular classroom can be separate from your main building. This means you could easily hire out space, both in school time if smart, but definitely out of school time. You could offer night classes. However, if you are more imaginative, you could offer the space as a meeting room to local businesses. You literally have all the resources: stationery, refreshments, utilities. Businesses pay a fortune to private companies for the use of space for gatherings that are too large for their workspace. This could easily mean you could be using your modular classroom to add to your budget.
In short, your modular classroom could pay for itself over only a few years.
Modular classrooms are cheaper
In answer to the question posed: yes, modular classrooms are less expensive for schools. It is obvious really. The construction costs for modular classrooms are a much lower outlay in the first instance. Bricks and mortar construction is expensive. It also takes a long time, with disruption and stresses to staff. Modular construction is quick and no longer looks temporary – indeed, it can last for over 50 years. It also gives you the flexibility to make money, as well as the freedom to save on expenses.
If this still sounds unrealistic for your budget, then you could always apply for help with the cost of construction. Grants 4 Schools offers financial solutions for schools, which means you could start planning your modular construction project sooner than you think.