Second in a two-part series on Las Cruces Public Schools
Because of continuing population growth in that area, the construction of one or two new elementary schools on the East Mesa like will be at the top when Las Cruces Public Schools puts together its final list of bond projects to go before voters in February 2022, LCPS Superintendent Karen Trujillo said.
Construction at Columbia Elementary School likely also will be on the 2022 bond. The school closed in September 2018 because of mold.
LCPS is starting a feasibility study for the school that is expected to take two months to complete, LCPS Public Information Director Kelly Jameson said. “We don't know how much of the original building – if any at all – will be salvageable until that feasibility study is complete,” Jameson said.
LCPS purchased the building that housed the Boots and Bourbon bar next to the school district’s central office at 505 S. Main St., and its renovation as a part of the continued construction of a new LCPS Operations Complex could also be on the 2022 bond issue list, Trujillo said.
It also likely will include renovating multipurpose rooms at some elementary schools; replacing school roofs; upgrading heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and other improvements to school buildings and classrooms, Trujillo said.
LCPS is “trying to be as transparent as possible” as it moves forward with proposed bond projects, the superintendent said.
2018 LCPS bond projects
From a report by LCPS Director of Construction Gloria Martinez
Here are updates on some of the projects approved by voters in the $50 million February 2018 election:
- Projects carried over from the 2014 bond: 1) Lynn Middle School HVAC: $2 million; LCPS is waiting for a state purchase order for project design; 2) Oñate High School intercom system: $185,000; LCPS is working on the project design, with construction expected to begin in October; 3) IT projects: complete.
- Americans with Disabilities Act compliance districtwide: $200,000, in progress;
- Athletics: 1) New girls’ gym lockers at Picacho Middle School: $100,000, complete; 2) New gym bleachers at Oñate High School: $280,000, complete; 3) Field of Dreams baseball complex field lights: $120,000, complete; 4) New basketball court at Camino Real Middle School: $55,000, complete;
- New multipurpose room with new kitchen, remodeling of existing multipurpose room for additional instructional space at Fairacres Elementary School ($7 million), Hillrise Elementary School ($6 million) and Desert Hills Elementary School ($2 million). Fairacres Elementary is also getting a new classroom wing. The LCPS Purchasing Department is working on the design contract for the Fairacres and Desert Hills projects; the architect is working on the design for the Desert Hills project.
- Energy efficiency and technology: 1) Solar-panel project at Centennial High School: $1.5 million, anticipated completion is December 2020; 2) Districtwide upgrade to phone and network infrastructure: $2 million, completion expected within eight months;
- Playground equipment: Booker T. Washington ($130,000), Central Elementary ($130,000), Hermosa Heights Elementary ($120,000) and Sonoma Elementary ($120,000), complete;
- Playground shade structures: Booker T. Washington Elementary ($500,000), Jornada Elementary ($20,000), Loma Heights Elementary ($36,000, two structures), Mesilla Elementary ($30,000), Mesilla Park Elementary ($60,000, two structures), Tombaugh Elementary ($72,000), Sunrise Elementary ($95,000, two structures); material is on order construction anticipated to be complete by the end of January 2021;
- Swing sets: Mesilla Park and Loma Heights elementaries, two sets each, $24,000 for each school; complete;
- Project contingency and property acquisition: $4.988 million; funds are allocated to listed bond projects to account for unforeseen expenses, and may also be reallocated to other critical district capital outlay needs; funds are also earmarked to acquire property for future school district needs.
- New roof: Valley View Elementary School: $1.3 million; currently working on RFP;
- Safety: 1) Relocate and enhance security at front-office entrance, nursing area at MacArthur Elementary: $2.236 million; waiting for RFP process to hire an architect; 2) Security doors: Central Elementary: $72,800, complete; César Chávez Elementary: $97,500, in design; Desert Hills Elementary: $62,000, in design; Doña Ana Elementary, $72,800, in design; East Picacho Elementary, $221,000, in design; Highland Elementary, $73,500, in design; Hillrise Elementary, $64,000, in design; Valley View Elementary, $86,400, complete; 3) Security gates, fencing and lighting: Picacho Middle School fencing and gates: $140,000, in design; Vista Middle School fencing: $50,000, construction to start in October; Mayfield High School parking lot lighting: $150,000, construction to start in October;
- Furniture: 1) Mayfield High School: $2.6 million, complete; 2) Sierra Middle School: $350,000, replace library furniture, complete;
- School renovation and physical plant upgrades: 1) Columbia Elementary: $4 million, working on a contract for a feasibility study; 2) Phase one of new LCPS Physical Plant/Operations Complex construction: $11 million, waiting for RFP process to hire an architect;
LCPS received funding from the state Public School Capital Outlay Council to help offset the costs for many of these projects.