Board pushes plans ahead

PNT Staff Report

The Portales school board will go before a state committee Tuesday with a proposal for assistance in building a new elementary school, and now they have an architect attached to the project.

The school board announced in a special meeting Tuesday night that Greer Stafford, an architecture firm from Albuquerque, scored highest with the selection committee.

Portales Municipal School’s superintendent Randy Fowler explained that two Portales elementary schools, Steiner and Lindsey, rank very high as schools in need of renovation or replacement, and the cost of one new building would be cheaper than the cost of bringing the
two schools up to code.

“We’re going to make a proposal to the PSCOC (Public Schools Capital Outlay Committee) that with their help and a bond issue to follow, we would like to build a new elementary school instead of remodeling two old ones,” Fowler said.

Fowler said that according to an estimate, it would cost $26 million to renovate and remodel the two schools and bring them up to code — while building a new school would cost about $16 million.

“As a community, Portales can only raise a portion of that money in a bond issue,” Fowler said. “So we need help from the state and if they’re willing to do so, that would be what we would like to do is to build a new school.”

Fowler also said that having an architect on board would be a big help.

“We needed to have an architect on board before we went before committee to let them know that we are serious about this,” Fowler said. “To let them know that we have a plan and that we feel like it’s a win-win situation for the state and their funding and also for our community and for our school district.”

Fowler said that because Greer Stafford handled the district’s master facilities plan over two years ago, they would be best suited to handle the needs of the new building.

“They have a better understanding of our district than probably any other firm,” Fowler said. “And because of the type of work that they’ve done, it’s been very positive for the district.”

In other business Tuesday night the board:

• Accepted a bid from McDaniel’s Inc. to carpet classrooms in all schools.

• Budget adjustment requests were heard.