Mike cook

Editor’s Note: The November 2 local election ballot contains two questions about Las Cruces public schools: 1) bond issue and 2) mill tax. Check the back of your ballot to make sure you are voting on both questions. The LCPS questions are on the ballot for all qualified voters who live in the school district. This means that you can vote on LCPS obligation and factory tax with your votes in city council, school board, and soil and water conservation district elections, or you can vote in from the school bond election and the soil and water conservation district election even if your city council race and school board race are not on this year’s poll.

Las Cruces public schools need around $ 500 million to bring all of their schools up to standard, but only asking for $ 50 million in 2021 bond election to avoid a property tax hike local, said LCPS Superintendent Ralph Ramos.

The LCPS bond issue in 2021 addresses needs identified in the school district’s facilities maintenance plan, which it updates every four years, said Brigette Zigelhofer, community liaison officer for LCPS.

The bond issue also includes $ 15 million to rebuild Columbia Elementary School. The school was closed in 2018 after the discovery of mold. The new school building will be erected at the same location, 4555 Elks Drive.

LCPS construction director Gloria Martinez said the school district was hiring a general contractor to do the Columbia Elementary demolition work, which she said could begin by December. Martinez said she was also working on hiring an architect to design the new school, with design set to begin in January.

Since the school closed, students at Columbia Elementary School have been taking classes at Centennial High School. The new Columbia Elementary building is slated to open in fall 2024, Ramos said.

Here are other items that will be paid for with 2021 bond money, if voters approve:

  • $ 11 million for new maintenance facilities at the LCPS Operations Annex on Tashiro Drive;
  • $ 1 million for district-wide Americans with Disabilities Act compliance;
  • $ 1.018 million for the design and construction of softball shelters ($ 288,000) and for the resurfacing and replacement of the existing track ($ 730,000) at the Field of Dreams;
  • $ 500,000 for a new LCPS solar project;
  • $ 3.3 million for enriched learning opportunities for LCPS students, including vocational and technical education and early childhood education;
  • $ 1.7 million for the reconstruction of an interior wall at Zia Middle School;
  • $ 5 million to renovate the kitchens at Highland Elementary School and Lynn Middle School – $ 2.5 million each;
  • $ 5.65 million in contingency funds and for land acquisition. The money will help pay for unforeseen bond project expenses, including material price increases, and purchase land for the school district’s future needs, which Ramos says could eventually include a new elementary school. on East Mesa;
  • $ 4.1 million to replace the roofs of César Chávez elementary schools ($ 2.1 million) and Hermosa Heights ($ 2 million);
  • $ 1.375 million for security fencing ($ 880,000), intercoms ($ 145,000) and security gates ($ 350,000), including $ 80,000 each for elementary school fencing César Chávez, Doña Ana , Sunrise, University Hills and Valley View; $ 120,000 for fencing at Hermosa Heights, Hillrise, Mesilla and Mesilla Park elementary schools; $ 32,000 each for intercoms at Mesilla and Mesilla Park elementary schools; $ 73,000 for intercoms at Central Elementary; $ 8,000 for intercoms at Lynn High School; and $ 350,000 for security doors at Mayfield High School.
  • $ 350,000 for a bus loop to Zia Middle School.

LCPS ‘second yes-no question on the 2021 local election ballot asks voters to approve the renewal of a $ 2 million capital improvement tax that will provide funds to pay for maintenance, equipment school, playground improvements, classroom furnishings, and other district-wide projects.

The factory tax, also known as the SB (Senate Bill) 9, must be approved by voters every six years.

Visit www.studentsfirst.vote.

Gadsden Independent School District, which includes schools in Doña Ana and Otero counties, asked a $ 38 million GO bond question in the Nov. 2 poll. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3iiiLh2. Find it on the GISD Facebook page at GadsdenISD by scrolling to “October 1 at 10:00 am”. Also visit www.gisd.k12.nm.us.

Hatch Valley Public Schools, with schools in northern Doña Ana County, is seeking voter approval for a $ 1.8 million GO bond issue. Visit www.hatchschools.net and scroll to the HVPS Bond Vote 2021 flyer.

Only qualified electors from each school district may vote on matters relating to the obligations of that school district.