Home News Local News Mesa Middle and Nancy Lopez on track for renovations

Mesa Middle and Nancy Lopez on track for renovations

Pictured: Mesa Middle School at 1601 E. Bland St. (Alison Penn Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

RISD’s capital outlay construction awards to be matched by the state

A Roswell Independent School District press release stated the New Mexico Public Schools Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) voted to authorize awards for several school districts’ facilities construction through state funding.

Pictured: Nancy Lopez Elementary School at 1208 E. Bland St. (Alison Penn Photo)

The release stated these awards permits RISD “to move forward with the complete renovation of both Mesa Middle and Nancy Lopez Elementary schools” and is similar to the fund for $11.7 million to design Del Norte Elementary School.

The Daily Record reached out to Principal Dolores Ingram of Nancy Lopez Elementary, and Principal Marcos Franco of Mesa Middle School, and both replied with emailed statements.

“Nancy Lopez Elementary staff was thrilled to hear the news that we will be undergoing construction in the next few years,” Ingram said. “What this means for our students is fully renovated modern classrooms and restrooms, central heating and air conditioning in the gym, up to date support for technology and most important, a secure building.”

Franco said news about the renovations was a “huge deal to the students and staff.” He said the unexpected phone call from Chad Cole, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, was the highlight of his day and he had a hard time keeping the news to himself until the staff meeting that same day. He said the school has reason to celebrate between now and when the building is finished.

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For the breakdown on the funding, the release specified that the estimated costs for designs and renovations are $16.3 million for Mesa Middle and $10.1 million for Nancy Lopez. The release listed that the state will match approximately $11.6 million for Mesa and $7.2 million for Nancy Lopez and RISD will pay $4.7 million for Mesa and $2.9 million for Nancy Lopez (at 71 percent for the state and 29 percent for RISD.)

To explain the genesis of the funding, the release included background information that the voters of Chaves County approved RISD’s issuance of $16 million in General Obligation bonds (GO bonds) in a four-year cycle that began Feb. 3, 2015. On Sept. 13, the release stated that the remaining unissued balance was bid, issued and sold, which allowed RISD to have funds to match the estimated costs for the three schools.

The release stated community support of the RISD GO bonds for school construction is required to receive PSCOC matching funding awards and it impacts “the long-term economic activity of Chaves County.” The release also stated 13 projects over the past 13 years for school facilities came from this support and represents $138.5 million of taxable construction for the city and the county.

Ingram said the main concern at Nancy Lopez is the security and safety of the students, staff and visitors and is important for “learning to flourish.”

“The safety of our students will be at the forefront of each decision made during the construction process,” Ingram said.

For recent construction, Ingram said some renovations were done to the lobby and hallways last year — including replacing lighting fixtures and ceiling tiles. She said the “minor updates immediately improved the aesthetics as you walk into our building.”

For Mesa, Franco said some updates have occurred based on various needs to help “keep the appearance up, but a building cannot escape the test of time and that is the battle we face.” He said the facility is old and deterioration and failing systems are expected.

Franco also said, “a new building in any area of Roswell makes the community proud — especially when it comes to our schools.”

“We would like for the general public to know that we are extremely grateful for their support,” Ingram said. “We look forward to the beginning stages of construction and plan to continue seeing student achievement increase yearly!”

“Roswell residents support their schools,” Franco said. “This is evident by the continual approval of election bonds. With the bonds, several Roswell schools have been rebuilt or renovated over the last few years. The next bond election is coming up soon and we need to keep progress moving forward.”

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.