Home News Local News Mesa Middle renovation plans move forward

Mesa Middle renovation plans move forward

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Design work for the $16.32 million Mesa Middle School renovation will begin this summer. Construction is slated to start in fall or winter 2020. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

After years of planning, the Roswell Independent School District is ready to begin architectural designs to renovate Mesa Middle School, ranked by the state as the third-highest priority among K12 public school projects in New Mexico.

The existing 69,789 square-foot school is both too dated and too small to meet current student and staff needs, according to a district facilities master plan.

Huitt-Zollars Inc. of Albuquerque and its subcontractors were awarded the design contract following a Tuesday night vote of the RISD Board of Education.

“Huitt-Zollars is the design firm that designed Parkview (Early Literacy Center),” said Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Chad Cole. “They are great to work with. I can promise you that.”

The school district expects to finalize the contract by the end of June, according to the Request for Proposals.

The firm was one of 16 bidders, all from New Mexico, district staff told board members. Six finalists were interviewed and ranked by a selection committee.

Mac Rogers, district construction coordinator, said school construction and renovation projects are prioritized based on state standards and available funding.

Mesa Middle is in the southeast part of the city on East Bland Street and is one of four RISD-run middle schools. Its structures were built in 1958 and 1961 and sit on 13.9 acres, according to the district master plan. To accommodate all of its sixth to eighth grade students, which now average about 513 a year, the school has to use up to three portable classroom buildings.

The master plan indicates that the school needs many structural improvements to buildings inside and out, additional classroom and office space, a redesign of the student pick-up and drop-off areas, upgrades to its outdoor field and track, better lighting and electrical systems, renovations of student and staff bathrooms, new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and new security and fire suppression systems.

“We’re renovating the entire building with several goals in mind,” Rogers said, “create 21st century learning environments, better accommodate essential school functions, improve safety and security, utilization of durable building materials, improve energy efficiency (and) accommodate student exceptionalities.”

The complete design and build project is expected to cost $16.32 million. A New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority document indicates that the state will pay 71% of the costs, with the local district contributing the remaining 29%, or about $4.73 million.

Phase I of the project — the design, cost estimating and project scheduling — will cost about $1.63 million, with the district contributing $473,340 of that. The design phase is expected to be completed by summer 2020, with construction to start some time later in 2020.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.