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Renovations to schools making good progress

July 10, 2014 • Local News

Jeff Tucker Photo
Drew Dacy of DDC Construction of Roswell looks over a large cement turtle in the playground area of Berrendo Elementary School. The school’s new library can be seen in the far right, while the school’s new kindergarten wing is shown in the far left. The playground area has an artificial turf surface.

By Jeff Tucker
Record Staff Writer

Two renovations of Roswell schools should be completed by the start of the school year, while the other two school renovations should be completed by the end of the calendar year, a school official told the Roswell school board Tuesday night.

Looking down the road, school leaders said Tuesday they plan to propose a bond election in February to renovate four more schools in the school district, so that 16 of the school district’s 20 schools could realize overhauls in little more than 10 years.

In total, the price tag of the four projects underway is budgeted at $49.1 million, although the bulk of the costs, $35.4 million, are being paid by the Public School Capital Outlay Council.

The PSCOC is a nine-member council directed by the State Legislature to manage the allocation of state funding to public school facilities in New Mexico’s 89 school districts.

The school district is funding $13.7 million of the construction costs of the four schools being renovated with local school bonds.

Assistant Superintendent of Finance Chad Cole provided the school board with an update of all four projects at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Although not all four of the ongoing renovations will be completed by the start of the school year, all four schools being remodeled will be open when the school year begins Aug. 14.

“All schools under construction will be open at the start of the school year,” Cole told the newspaper after the meeting, noting the four renovations are taking place in phases.

Berrendo Elementary School
Cole said the $12.1 million renovation at Berrendo Elementary School is ahead of schedule. Construction by DDC Construction of Roswell is in the third of three phases, Cole said.

Cole said nine classrooms, the gym, two restrooms, the administration office, and the kitchen and kindergarten additions have been completed, adding four new classrooms in the school’s northeast wing.

Much of the third phase has also been completed, which included a library addition, demolition of classrooms in the northwest wing, and a playground with artifical turf.

Work to be completed at the school at 505 W. Pine Lodge Road includes finishing the front parking lot and the school’s north wing.

The project will add 4,225 square feet of classroom space and 2,816 square feet of library space.
Construction should be completed in August.

The school district will bare 28 percent of Berrendo’s $12.1 million renovation costs, while the PSCOC is paying 72 percent.

A total of 79 percent of the project’s budget has been spent, Cole said.

El Capitan Elementary School
The $16.4 million new construction project at El Capitan Elementary School is also ahead of schedule, Cole said.
Work performed by Bradbury Stamm Construction of Albuquerque is in the second of two phases.
Interior work including the installation of metal trim panels and furniture has been completed in the newly constructed building at 2807 W. Bland St.

Demolition of the old school building is in progress. Asbestos abatement in the old building has been completed.
“We’re rapidly demoing that building as we speak,” Cole said.

A new playground should be installed by Aug. 8 and exterior work should be completed by Aug. 1.

The old school building had 42,856 square feet. The new building will have 60,389 square feet, with 23,214 more square feet of classroom space and 2,160 square feet of added library space.

Construction should be completed in August.

The school district will bare 28 percent of El Capitan’s $16.4 million renovation costs, while the PSCOC is paying 72 percent.

A total of 75 percent of the project’s budget has been spent, Cole said.

Military Heights Elementary School
The $10.9 million renovation project at Military Heights Elementary School is on schedule to be completed in September.
Construction work performed by Gerald Martin of Albuquerque is in the second of three phases.

A kindergarten addition, library addition, compter lab addition, special education classroom addition, remodeling of a restroom and five existing classrooms has been completed.

Asbestos abatement has also been completed.

Work to be completed at the school at 1900 N. Michigan Ave. includes remodeling seven existing classrooms on the north side of the building, the gym, the administration office and a kitchen addition.

The remodeling of four additional classrooms on the south end of the building is scheduled to be completed by September.
The school had 36,740 square feet before the renovation and will have 48,838 square feet once construction is completed. The project will add 5,861 square feet of classroom space and 1,813 square feet of additional library space.
The school district will bare 28 percent of Military Heights’ $10.9 million renovation costs, while the PSCOC is paying 72 percent.

A total of 71 percent of the project’s budget has been spent, Cole said.

Valley View Elementary School
The $9.65 million renovation project at Valley View Elementary School is ahead of schedule to be completed in December.
Work performed by Holloway Construction of Roswell is in the third of three phases.

A total of 12 classrooms and the administration office have been remodeled at the school at 1400 S. Washington Ave.
The remodeling of the school’s gym and parking and drop-off areas is on pace to be completed by the first week of August.
Cole said the school would have student pick-up and drop-off areas at opposite ends of the school.

A library addition is also in progress.

The school had 34,258 square feet before the renovation and will have 44,495 square feet when construction is completed. The project will add 4,000 square feet of classroom space and 2,139 square feet of library space.

The school district will bare 28 percent of Valley View’s $9.65 million renovation costs, while the PSCOC is paying 72 percent.

A total of 51 percent of the project’s budget has been spent, Cole said.

School board president Pauline Ponce said the school district would hold a bond election in February to potentially fund renovations at Del Norte and Nancy Lopez elementary schools, Parkview Early Literacy Center and Mesa Middle School.
The school district has renovated eight schools in the last 10 years, plus the ongoing construction at Berrendo, El Capitan, Military Heights and Valley View elementary schools.

If the bond election goes forward and is approved by voters, Del Norte and Nancy Lopez elementary schools, Parkview Early Literacy Center and Mesa Middle School will be added to the list of recently renovated schools.

District schools that have yet to be renovated and are not currently on the drawing table are Washington Avenue Elementary School, Mountain View Middle School, and Goddard and Roswell high schools.

Cole said Roswell’s public schools are being renovated according to building construction rankings established by the New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority, the administrative arm of the PSCOC.

The renovations began in 2004 with the remodeling of University High School.

“This is the first time we’ve taken on four at a time,” Cole said after the meeting. “We’ve really gotten more efficient in our process.”

Cole suggested the school district hold open houses at all four newly remodeled schools once the renovations are completed.

Other business
At the start of Tuesday’s meeting, several teachers complained about a new evaluation system in place for public school teachers in New Mexico. About two-thirds of those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting were Roswell school teachers.
“I want to know how I received that rating,” said teacher Pete Ramberg.

“Those things that we can change, we wil try,” Ponce said, noting the Legislature enacted the new evaluation system.
In other business, the school board voted 4-1 in approval of a salary schedule that gives all teachers 3 percent across-the-board raises, and 6 percent raises for educational assistants.

School board member Eloy Ortega Jr. cast the dissenting vote.

Ortega told the newspaper he voted against the salary schedule because it contains a 3 percent raise for Superintendent Tom Burris.

“Personally, I’m not very happy with things that have been going on,” Ortega said. “I feel that some things need to change.”

Burris said his contract expires in June 2016.

On another matter, the school board voted unanimously to delete the position of assistant superintendent for assessment and technology and to convert the position to director of assessment and accountability.

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One Response to Renovations to schools making good progress

  1. firstroswell says:

    Check your dictionary…I think you meant to use the word “bear” instead of “bare” in this article.

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