By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Portales School Board members approved the move of Broad Horizons Alternative School from it’s current location to the campus of the Portales High School.
School board members approved the recommendation to move the alternative school to the campus of Portales high school made by James Holloway, superintendent of schools, on Monday during a school board meeting.
Holloway cited financial issues in the present and future as the reasons for the move.
According to Holloway, one reason was because the technology at the high school could be updated in a more efficient manner and the update would affect Portales School students and Broad Horizon Educational Center students. Holloway said the upgrades, such as fiber-optic connectivity, could be made in one location instead of upgrading new technology for separate locations. He stated these reasons after a public hearing was held on Wednesday disclosing the motives.
Another reason was because of the increasing budget deficit BHEC was incurring because of the loss of students. Enrollment at BHEC was 131 for the 2001-02 school year, but has dropped to 79 students for the 2004-05 school year. The money generated from enrollment amounts to $303,034 on a student-funding formula the state has in place for all public schools. However, the operating costs in the same year is projected at $639,153, creating a deficit of $336,119.
In comparison, 688 PHS students have generated $2.639 million in revenue against $2,297,798 in operation costs for a revenue total of $341,283.
Holloway said to keep BHEC in its present location would cost approximately $100,000, which in the short term would be cheaper than moving it to the Portales High School campus. He said placing three portable buildings next to one portable building between the PHS gym and industrial building would cost approximately $140,000, but would save the school district money in the long run.
Holloway said the industrial building would need to be renovated and a new parking lot would need to be put behind the gym for BHEC students. Holloway said there will also be two additional portables located by the baseball field which will be used for BHEC staff and students.
• Holloway and school board members took time on Monday to recognize achievements made by students from the district. Members of the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams were announced and applauded for finishing second in the state basketball tournaments over the weekend.
There was also recognition given to winners of science fair and winners of the English and Spanish spelling bee in the school district.