In 2002, Florida voters passed an amendment that set classroom student limits at 18 for elementary schools, 22 for middle schools, and 25 in high schools by the 2010-2011 school year. To create suitable classroom space, the district opted to construct modular classrooms. Built using tilt-up techniques, this system provided the ideal solution for the district because the modular classrooms could be completed cost-effectively and quickly.
Woodland Construction Company was selected and has completing 54 modular classroom buildings for Miami-Dade County Public Schools in South Florida. The majority of the buildings contain 14 equally sized modules that include 13 classrooms, a central corridor, and a restroom/mechanical room. Designed for flexibility, the basic layout can be altered by adding or subtracting a module, allowing the buildings to fit on varying tight sites at existing school campuses. The structure has a floor slab, a steel truss roof, and tilt-up walls.
Because this area is keenly aware of the damage that can result from hurricanes and high winds, durability was crucial for these structures. Completed on a tight schedule, the construction of the first buildings began last December and the last of the 54 was completed before the start of the 2005-2006 school year. On average, Woodland completed the modular classrooms in 120 days with the site and shell completed in less than four weeks. Woodland Construction partnered with the James B. Pirtle Construction Company, the construction manager for the project, to ensure that the schedule was met. The success of this project has prompted other communities in the south Florida region to begin evaluating this permanent tilt-up modular classroom system for their district.