School officials discuss expanding L.L. Brown

Mike Linn

An architect firm in Albuquerque will begin negotiating with Portales school officials on an expansion project at Brown Early Childhood Center.
The project is slated to do away with Brown’s five portable classrooms in favor of 12 additional classrooms with an additional wing to the kindergarten school. In addition, the project will include a kitchen so lunches won’t need to be transported from other school cafeterias.
School officials are hoping the project is complete by the fall of 2005.
“Portables are supposed to be temporary,” Portales Municipal School Financial Director Murphy Quick said at Monday night’s school board meeting. “They need more upkeep.”
School officials said this is the first in a series of expansions at Portales schools proposed to eliminate portables in exchange for classrooms.
The only school without Portables is Valencia Elementary, Quick said.
The project is expected to cost just under $2 million. The state’s Public School Facility Authority has already allocated $1.5 million for the project. An application for the remaining $500,000 should be accepted soon, officials said.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Holloway said he will negotiate a price with Greer Stafford architect firm in Albuquerque, the first choice of six firms that submitted proposals on the project.
If mediations fall through with the Greer firm, Holloway has the authority to negotiate with the committee’s second choice, Paul C. Reed Architects.
Portales Municipal Schools have received more than $7 million from the state after the community passed a supporting bond election for the schools about three years.
School officials praised the community for passing the election.
“These applications have become very easy since the community passed the bond election,” Quick said. “When there’s no local effort there’s no state money.”
Also at the meeting:
l The Portales Municipal School Board renewed Holloway’s contract for the 2004/2005 school year. Holloway has been the acting superintendent since the 1999/2000 school year.
l School officials said they will seek $250,000 from state funds to help renovate the Portales High School Performing Arts Center.