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Fort Modular

Kamloops School District Picks Fort Modular

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With another summer of wildfires and forced evacuations in BC’s Okanagan, Fort Modular again pressed on and met one of the BC Interior’s largest orders for portable classrooms for the 2017/2018 school year.


In Spring 2017, the Kamloops-Thompson School District #73 selected Fort Modular in a tendered bid to build, deliver and install 7,680 square feet of brand new, high-quality portable classroom space for six schools in Kamloops, British Columbia. A total of 8 classrooms — 24 x 40 each — were manufactured and assembled: two 2-classroom complexes at David Thompson Elementary and Valley View Secondary; and single classroom portables at Westmount Elementary; Lloyd George Elementary; McGowan Park Elementary; and Pacific Way Elementary.

The project was in response to a proactive push by the Kamloops-Thompson School District to address the Province of BC’s new mandate to improve class size and composition as per the 2016 Supreme Court ruling.


“This was a sizeable — and specific — order that not every supplier could fulfill. Fort Modular could accommodate our comprehensive specifications in the short time frame we required — and at the lowest price.”

— Jim McFadden, Manager of Buildings Maintenance, Kamloops-Thompson School District #73

The Kamloops-Thompson School District received a broad range of competitive bids from across BC and Alberta, but only Fort Modular was able to meet the exacting requirements of the project at a reasonable price. One key requirement of this project was that the supplier had to be bonded, ensuring the financial stability of the contractor and providing performance assurance for the School Board.

From a design aspect, unique attributes to this project included engineered units with 2 x 6 construction to provide extra insulation and strength to meet the structural requirements of heavy snow loads. The project design also included rain screen exterior metalclad siding and a number of detailed specifications — from flooring to moulding and wall coverings.

The new portable classrooms also included custom millwork (teacher cabinets and bookshelves), chalkboards and whiteboards, exterior window security roll shutters, electrical, heating and air conditioning, stairs, landings, accessibility ramps for handicapped individuals, and skirting.


“We visited Fort Modular’s manufacturing plant during production. They were very accommodating and helped ensure that we got exactly what we wanted. I knew that we were getting a quality product.

— Jim McFadden, Manager of Buildings Maintenance, Kamloops-Thompson School District #73

While Fort Modular’s installation deadlines were moderately impacted by the province’s wildfires, they were able to meet all the needs of the school board well in time for the Fall intake. While Fort Modular has developed a reputation for providing top quality product delivered on time and on budget, it’s the positive response from teachers and stakeholders that really makes the difference.


“It has all the technology and amenities one would expect.”

— Alison Sidow, Superintendent, Kamloops-Thompson School District #73



Project Details

  • * New Construction
  • * 8 classrooms: 24 x 40 each
  • * 6 locations
  • * 2 locations assembled as a complex
  • * Custom cabinetry: bookshelves and teachers cabinets
  • * White boards and chalk boards
  • * 4 double-paned vinyl windows each
  • * Security roll shutters
  • * Commercial steel doors
  • * EPDM Roofing
  • * Metal clad rain screen siding in client’s selected colours
  • * Handicap accessible
  • * Stairs, ramps, landing, and skirting
  • * Heat & Air Conditioning
  • * 2×6 Construction for insulation & heavy snow loads
  • * Engineered pressure-treated block and pad foundations




The classroom portables by Fort Modular also gained acclaim on the front page of the Kamloops This Week paper. The article highlights the demand for immediate classroom space as well as the school district’s investment in preparations over the summer. Meghan Wade, chair of the board of education for the district, said “All our ducks are in a row […] Our projects are done for the summer, our renovations, our portables.”

The article goes on to cite the cost of the new units at about $130,000 apiece or about $1 million for all eight portable classrooms. Superintendent of the Kamloops-Thompson school district Alison Sidow said portables are fine for learning. “A portable is still a classroom,” she said. “It has all the technology and amenities one would expect. Many teachers prefer working in portables.” Read the full article here.