The Roswell school district estimates its total facility improvements and upgrade needs at about $154.7 million, according to a 2016-21 facilities master plan on file with the state. But, given the state and local funding situations, only one major project will be undertaken during the upcoming academic year.
Another major project is wrapping up. Work on renovating and upgrading Parkview Early Literacy Center at 1700 W. Alameda St. is in its final phases, and is not included in the $154.7 million identified as future project needs.
Parkview “is substantially complete,” said district Construction Coordinator Mac Rogers. “They are working on finishing up the site, the playground area, the landscaping and the parking lot off Alameda.”
Described by district officials as a model for instructional programs, Parkview provides pre-kindergarten classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, with an emphasis on teaching those diagnosed with development disabilities or developmental delays. The project costs about $14.53 million, with the district paying about $4.65 million with state funds covering the rest.
Meanwhile, having been given the green light to build a new school for Del Norte Elementary in 2015, the district is now able to start the process, with district officials indicating that state funding for the project will be available this year.
The district has sent out a request for bids from architectural firms due by Aug. 18. The Board of Education probably will vote to award a design contract at its September meeting, said Rogers, with renderings or drawings turned in by early 2018.
“The way we prioritize projects is based on the state’s condition index,” Rogers said.
Originally built in 1958, Del Norte is ranked as the third-highest in terms of construction needs in a 2017-18 preliminary list of K12 public schools already approved for state funding compiled by the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority.
The $22 million project entails constructing a new building and demolishing the existing one when the new facility is completed, expected to be in summer 2020.
Rogers said that the state is expected to cover about 73 percent of the costs, while the district will pay the other 27 percent, or about $6 million. The local money will come from the issue of bonds approved by voters in 2015.
The new building, to serve about 575 students, will be constructed on the 10-acre site at 2701 N. Garden Ave. School administrators and city officials have voted to transfer ownership of the park behind the school from the city to the school district.
Rogers said the district will not seek energy standards certifications for the school, but that it will “strive to meet Energy Star requirements” through its materials and construction methods and installation of equipment designed to ensure good air quality.
Rogers said the new building will be similar to the elementary schools the district has built in recent years, such as Missouri Avenue Elementary.
In future years, the district most likely will work to renovate or reconstruct Mesa Middle School, Rogers said. Mesa now ranks No. 7 in the state on the preliminary priority list of K12 projects yet to be awarded funding. Washington Avenue Elementary School is ranked No. 10.
Rogers said that the state priority list, determined by a state team of facility assessment experts, changes periodically.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.