Monday marks the start of the school year for New Hanover County, and some classes at one school won't be taught in traditional classrooms. Despite the $15 million spent on the brand new Ogden Elementary School, some classes will be held in trailers. With more than 600 students Ogden Elementary is the largest elementary school in New Hanover County. So large that three second-grade classes will be based out of these trailers that sit outside of the school. Administrators call them "learning cottages." Ogden Elementary School Principal Allison Ward said, "Kids aren't upset about it. They're still in the building, they're still using the wonderful facilities. What's really important is, do they have great teachers -- I assure you all three teachers in the mobile units, all the teachers on our staff, are awesome." Principal Ward says completion of the new school is weeks away and it was difficult to anticipate the number of students. "I don't think anybody has the ability to factor in the growth that's happening in New Hanover County," Ward said. Ashley Baker lives across the street from the school. She said, "My first reaction was just complete disappointment because of one, aesthetics of it because they have this beautiful new building -- and second, just poor planning." Baker says she understands the concern over the rate at which the county is growing. Still, she says this is upsetting because neighbors have been patient with the construction -- waiting for that nice-looking building to be completed. Baker said, "The biggest disappointment now is to see the trailers are going to stay, especially when they're getting ready to open up." As for how it will affect the students, Ward says, "Whether they're in a learning cottage or whether they're inside a complete structure it really is not… I think grown-ups have a harder time dealing with it than kids do." Principal Ward says at this point, she hasn't heard much feedback from parents regarding the "learning cottages."
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