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Construction project that spurs question is new school

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District constructs a new school in one location and moves it to the school site elsewhere in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Eyewitness News received an email from a viewer curious about a construction project happening in their southwest neighborhood.

The viewer said they have noticed trucks hauling big buildings in the middle of the night.

Eyewitness News discovered these buildings are part of an elementary school being built for a site at McKee and Lima.

"We are experiencing enrollment growth. We are experiencing high enrollment impact at other schools in this area, and we have a new need to provide a new school for them in the district," said Gerrie Kincaid, an assistant superintendent with the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District.

However, the way this school is being built is a little out of the ordinary.

"We are having some of our buildings, some of the classroom buildings, built off site and then moved as modular construction, as we are referring to," Kincaid said. "And the slabs are here. The buildings are being constructed at another site and then transported here."

The buildings are being constructed by JTS Modular Inc. at Planz and Union. Once the buildings are complete, they are transported to the site with the help of the California Highway Patrol and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

"We have to move in the middle of the night when there's very little traffic and very little hazards on the road for us to move such large buildings," said Kincaid.

By doing it this way, instead of building on site, Kincaid said they are saving taxpayer money.

"This is a process we have used at four sites, and it has saved the district about a million dollars," said Kincaid.

The district plans on using this method in the future with the modernization of Panama Elementary School.

Kincaid said the quality of the buildings are the same as any other building.

This particular school, Dolores S. Whitley Elementary School, will open its doors to 750 students in August of this year.

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