Home News Local News RISD breaks ground for Mesa Middle School

RISD breaks ground for Mesa Middle School

Roswell Independent School District officially started its next construction project — renovations and additions to Mesa Middle School — with a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday morning at the school. Taking part in the groundbreaking were, from left, Jeremy Sanchez, RISD construction coordinator; Mary Jane Click, seventh grade math teacher; Alberto Cruz, head of Mesa's maintenance department; RISD school board member James Edwards; former RISD superintendent Mike Gottlieb; RISD superintendent Brian Luck; Assistant Principal Jamie Watson; Principal Marcos Franco; and Security Guard Santos Franco. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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Balloons in the school colors of white and green decorated the fence around the north side of Mesa Middle School as Roswell Independent School District kicked off its newest construction project Friday morning.

“It’s a celebration, that’s the way I view it,” RISD Superintendent Brian Luck said at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $22 million renovations and additions to the school, located at 1601 E. Bland St.

“I’m a lifelong resident here in Roswell, and I can assure you this is overdue and I’m extremely excited,” he said.

Former RISD superintendent Mike Gottlieb also spoke of it being Mesa’s turn for construction in a long-range plan.

“This has been a plan that’s taken 18 years to get where we’re at. We have three more schools to finish,” he said.

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He thanked taxpayers, the New Mexico Legislature and the oil and gas industry for the funding to make the project possible.

“We need to thank them,” he said of legislators. “Why? Because they have looked at Roswell, they’ve looked at our plans over the last 18 years and said ‘Roswell, you have a great plan, let’s move forward.’ They fund anywhere from 71% to 72% of the cost,” he said.

The New Mexico Public School Capital Outlay Council is providing 71% of the funds. The district’s cost will be $6.1 million, paid from the $14 million general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2019. The district issued the sale of the final $7 million of the bonds in January. 

James Edwards, RISD School Board vice president, attended Mesa Middle and now represents the district it’s in.

“You go to to the best middle school in the county, in the city,” he said.

He said if the construction of Mesa will be as good as Del Norte Elementary, which opened in 2020, the staff and students will have a school they deserve.

“This is going to be an elite school. It already is an elite school because we have elite staff,” he said.

Luck also had a challenge for the students, who got to watch the ceremony.

“This is done for you. You are worth this,” he said. “And now you have a challenge, and that’s go fulfill your destinies. Take what you’re going to be given in this beautiful, brand-new building and go change lives,” he said.

The structures of the 69,789 square-foot school were constructed in 1958 and 1961 on 13.9 acres. It’s the only one of RISD’s four middle schools with only one gymnasium. The construction project will add a second gym with bleacher seating for 600.

The plans also include a two-story wing for new classrooms, a pick-up and drop-off plaza and a new track and field. About half of the project will be new construction and half renovation. The construction is expected to take 16 months, RISD Construction Manager Jeremy Sanchez said.

The district is also preparing to move forward on the next project in line, Nancy Lopez Elementary School. At its meeting Tuesday, the RISD board is scheduled to vote on approving PA Architects, Albuquerque, for design services.

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

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