Ross River students will head back to class in portables

Two trailers are set to leave Whitehorse today to help solve the problems caused by the crumbling Ross River School. The two "mobile classrooms" are coming from Yukon College.

Two trailers are set to leave Whitehorse today to help solve the problems caused by the crumbling Ross River School.

The two “mobile classrooms” are coming from Yukon College. They’re part of the Yukon Department of Education’s plan to get kids back to class after their school was shut down indefinitely earlier this month.

The plan isn’t finished yet, said spokesperson Ronuk Modha, as the department is still considering places in Ross River that could be used in addition to the trailers.

The trailers are approximately 12 by 48 feet, or 3.5 by 14.5 metres. Once they arrive, they will have to be set up with power.

The trailers don’t have their own washrooms. Modha said they will be located just outside the arena so students can use the facilities there.

There’s still no word on when the 50 students from Kindergarten to Grade 10 will be back to class.

According to Modha, teachers have put together homework packages for students so that they can work from home. Those packages will be picked up on Monday.

A lunch has also been organized for Tuesday to give everybody an update.

Problems started on Jan. 9, when staff and students came to school and found big cracks in the walls. Everyone was sent home as a safety precaution.

Engineers said those cracks were nothing to be alarmed about and the school re-opened that Tuesday.

But when a more detailed report came in, the doors were shut again this Monday.

The structure is in “critical condition,” according to the report from Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Melting permafrost under the school, which was built in 2000, has shifted the foundations.

The report says high temperatures in a heated crawl space is a major cause of the permafrost degradation under the building.

The Department of Highways and Public Works says the area needs to be heated to keep the equipment there from freezing.

It’s fixable, the report says, but will require “extensive work.” Repair costs have not yet been estimated.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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