For a time as a child I lived in a very small town. I’m not sure just how small it was in terms of population, but I don’t think there was a traffic light of any kind there, if that gives you any frame of reference for size. Despite the diminutive area of the town, the elementary school I attended wasn’t big enough to accommodate all of the students. In order to have enough room for us, the school district had modular building manufacturers bring in a set of buildings that became the art and music annexes of the school. I learned the words to Los Lobos’ cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” in a modular building in my music class. It’s still one of my favorite memories. But it isn’t just the song that makes the memory special; it’s also the connection that memory has to where I learned those words.
The modular building I was in was of similar construction to some of those we see today as far as the exterior aluminum siding, but the modular building industry has changed quite a bit since I was practicing my Spanish in music class. One interesting change is that while many of the building materials stay the same, the buildings themselves are no longer required to be of the cookie cutter variety. In other words, you can actually request that a modular building manufacturer design a unit to fit your specific needs. Additionally, while there are buildings that look similar to my music annex from elementary school, most modular buildings today look very little to nothing like the modular units of decades past. Because there is more freedom to have buildings designed nearly to any specification, there is no need for modular buildings to conform to the traditional, rectangular shape associated with modular structures. Now modular building manufacturers can create a three-story dream home for you, or your very own music annex.