THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY RILEY TO THE POOL Forest Knolls Elementary School Silver Spring, Maryland
1:05 P.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, Ashley Lewis (phonetic) was telling us before you came in that she actually likes this classroom, that it's one of the biggest in the school --
THE PRESIDENT: It is big.
Q Why should -- can you explain to her maybe why you feel the need to spend $1.1 billion to build new classrooms when the student population may not always be this size.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, maybe I should let Secretary Riley answer that one, because it's going to be this size and bigger for a long time.
SECRETARY RILEY: When you look at these temporary quarters, you have to remember they're temporary. And as I was saying to the President, the growth is permanent. In the early '70s when we had the baby boom, it was a temporary enrollment increase, so you could make a very good, legitimate reason for having these temporary spaces. But now it's permanent, so you need permanent space.
You go into these temporary spaces and you see different problems. Some of them you can't get computers connected to with the Internet. Others there is a rest room problem. Others in foul weather it's a problem getting back and forth to the cafeteria.
THE PRESIDENT: Accessibility.
SECRETARY RILEY: Heat, cool, it's different kinds of problems in all the different temporary facilities. Some are better than others, as the Governor pointed out, but they're temporary and it's not a permanent solution.
THE PRESIDENT: Even if it is bigger. (Laughter.)
END 1:06 P.M. EDT