Lange Middle School removes 4 trailers

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | 7:53 p.m. CDT; updated 12:03 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 30, 2013
Columbia Public Schools moved four trailers from Lange Middle School on Thursday. The district, which typically uses the trailers as classrooms, decided to auction them off two years ago as part of its reorganization.

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools moved four trailers from Lange Middle School on Thursday as part of a recent sale.

On Aug. 5, 11 trailers were bought for $4,482.77, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said. Six additional trailers were sold this summer.

"We have sold 17 so far, with eight more available for sale from West Middle School," Baumstark said.

The district decided two years ago to sell its 154 trailers, which are generally used as classrooms.

Since then, it has been a slow process getting them off school property.

"It's not going to happen overnight. It will take a while to sell and move all 154 trailers, which we anticipated," Baumstark said.

The buyer of the 11 trailers, Robert Meredith, is paying all moving expenses, she said.

"We're certainly grateful to be getting rid of these for free," Baumstark said.

Baumstark said she didn't have any other information about the buyer and that the district didn't know how he would use the trailers.

The trailers are sold on GovDeals, a website for government agencies and organizations to sell surplus items, through an online auction. Anyone can buy these items, but the district is having a tough time finding buyers.

"For one thing, they don't have bathrooms, so it's a very targeted audience," Baumstark said. "People needing office space, for example, might buy some."

The district's long-standing goal is to get rid of the trailers. Some have been in use for about 20 years, well past their expiration date.

"A few have way exceeded their life span because we meant for them to be only temporary," Baumstark said. "They're meant to last only 10 years."

Not all of the remaining trailers are still being used, though. Lange was not using any of its trailers when the four were moved.

"We have seven more trailers, of which six will be moved as well," Lange Principal Bernard Solomon said. "We have all our students in the building, so all our trailers are going unused right now."

Although there is still a need for trailers at the elementary level, middle schools and high schools are beginning to phase them out as a result of the district's reorganization. That included moving ninth-graders to high schools, putting grades six through eight in middle schools and eliminating junior highs.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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