Ramapo College is using trailers to house classes as construction in the G and E wings continues this semester.
The trailers or “modular classroom” sit near the H-Wing auditorium and the Mackin and Bishoff parking lots. The trailers house several classrooms, faculty offices, and labs.
Students know they have class in one of the trailers if their schedule indicates a TC under location. From the outside, the trailers look small and compact, and perhaps not equipped to handle the overflow of classes displaced by the construction. However, the trailers are actually quite spacious. They include a long hallway with about six or seven classrooms/offices on either side. They look like any other classroom in the main academic building, with white-boards, desks, projectors and computers. “It feels like an actual school,” said freshman Jennifer Fanelli.
While the sight of the trailers was jarring to some students, they offer a more efficient way of housing classes rather than the areas of G-Wing undergoing construction. While classes were still held there last semester, the noise and sight of construction was distracting to many students. The trailers, however, are far away from the academic building and have managed to surpass most students’ expectations.
Junior Sara Negahban stated, “the trailers sounded inconvenient and strange at first, but they really are not that bad. They have air conditioning, heat, and bathrooms, so it really does not bother me that I have class there.”
While the modular classrooms have provided a solid alternative to the currently under renovation Academic building, some students still have some gripes with the new setup.
At the beginning of the semester, there was some confusion as to where the trailers were, and where the classrooms within them were being held. While the numbering system certainly makes it easier, the trailers are so new that many students were intimidated.
Before classes had even started, students ventured out into the parking lot to scope out the trailers and figure out where their classes are.
“The only thing I dislike about the trailers is that they can be hard to find,” said Junior Esther Plaza. “Making sure I knew where my class was beforehand really helped,” Plaza said. In addition to the confusing setup, the acoustics in the trailers are also less than ideal.
Freshman Jennifer Fanelli said, “The trailers sometimes echo our voices, and during discussions it can be very distracting because it is harder to hear.”
While not much can be done about the noise, it is less of a diversion than banging pipes and buzzing equipment that drowns out lectures in G-Wing.
The most apparent issue the modular classrooms have presented to the campus is the limited parking options. Taking up about half of the Mackin and Bishoff parking lots, the trailers have displaced commuters to the far reaches of the B lot, while the overflow of campus residents are located in D lot.
In all students feel that the trailers are only tolerable if temporary, and that they have been successful as alternatives to help students avoid the construction.