The school board, in its regular February meeting on Monday, February 10 began looking at proposed projects to consider for funding with the bond issue, passed by the community in the November elections. With most board members listing spending to address security concerns as their priority, additional and updated security cameras were an item requested by all the district’s schools. Many cameras currently in use are so outdated that people seen on them can only be identified by clothing. Secure gates were requested for the T-or-C Elementary school complex, and remote locking of doors was discussed.
Beyond security, several items from “wish lists” were discussed. A new roof with air conditioning installation for SEC was one big ticket item that was favorably discussed. The roof on the school is reaching the end of its life expectancy and the school is the only one left without refrigerated air conditioning. Addressing both issues at once was seen as more cost effective than doing them separately. The roof at the elementary school cafeteria is also in need of replacement.
Carpeting in the office at the middle school is being looked at. Bathrooms at the school are slated to be completely redone, with new fixtures, hardware and stall dividers. This is an item funded with the remainder of the previous bond.
Astro turf for the football field as well the outfield of the softball and infield of the baseball diamonds. Those are the areas that the respective coaches most wanted done. They had requested a concession stand as well. Board members briefly discussed the idea of having a concession truck or trailer, that could be moved from location to location, as being a more effective means of meeting this need.
Arrey Elementary School requested playground equipment and for their parking lot to be resurfaced. Applying for funding to resurface the lot was approved by the board. This will be funded by the New Mexico’s Local Government Road Fund (LGRF). Through grants from this fund the school’s bus barn area was paved over the last several years. With that project now complete, the board moved and approved for the lot at Arrey to be done next. Money from this fund is approved by the state each year and can only be used in parking lot maintenance and improvement.
At this point in the process, all projects discussed were brought forward as proposed for discussion only. The board is still working to develop a formal working list of projects for funding with the bond.
•Other items acted on by the board included the final reading and approval a policy service advisory medical care and management of students with diabetes. This policy, to put school districts into compliance with state regulations regarding this issue deals with staff training, support of students with diabetes and related issues, much of which is already in place in the district.
•The board approved renewing its membership in the New Mexico Legal Services Retainer Program through the Walsh, Gallegos, Trevino, Russo & Kyle P.C. law firm. They will be on retainer to provide legal services and consultation to the district for another year. Superintendent Piper and other administration staff gave them high marks for the service they provide.
•Superintendent Piper reported that the schools should be receiving $100,000 in targeted grants for the Community Schools program rather than the $50,000 previously awarded by the state. He further stated that an additional $900,000 would be forthcoming through the program over the next two years.
•in other news, the board will be conducting interviews of prospective candidates for the position of Superintendent, that will be open as of June 30. The interviews are scheduled to take place the last week of February. The new school calendar, for the 2020-21 school year is being readied and is anticipated to be very similar to the current one.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m.