School board approves more than $2 million in renovations, additions

By Gary Mitchell

Clovis school board members Tuesday approved more than $2 million worth of renovations and additions to Clovis High School as well as the replacing of corridor walls at Gattis Junior High School.
Two of the projects amounting to $516,640 will be paid by the state’s Deficiency Corrections Unit, said Clovis schools’ assistant superintendent of operations Lonnie Leslie.
Those two projects include new emergency stairs and exits at Clovis High School and the renovation of corridor walls (which are not up to code) at Gattis Junior High School.
The other projects, which will be paid by state Critical Capital Outlay funds awarded to the school district, include: renovations and classroom additions to CHS; addition to the CHS auto body shop; heating and air conditioning renovations to four building complexes at CHS; the paving of the Clovis High School ROTC drill area; and shop tools and equipment for the Industrial Arts program.
The bids submitted also called for the payment of gross receipts taxes on those projects, to which board member Mark Lansford objected.
“The state statute states that we don’t have to pay taxes on materials,” he said.
Administrative staff members noted that the ruling from the state Taxation and Revenue Department indicates that school districts don’t have to pay for materials used for repairs, but “we do have to pay gross receipts taxes on renovations or additions.”
“I don’t think the citizens of New Mexico really realize how much of their tax dollars are taxed again,” said Clovis superintendent Neil Nuttall. “I think it’s fundamentally flawed.”
In making the motion for approval of the bids, Lansford stipulated that the school district’s attorney check into the taxability of the materials used in those particular projects. Other board members agreed.
In other matters, board members approved a three-year technology plan for the school district; approved an application for a state bilingual education program grant; extended the school bus fleet contract to Adair Inc. for another year; and approved with stipulations school fund-raisers during the coming academic year.
The next Clovis School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 10 in the Central Administration Building, 1009 N. Main St.
A special-called board meeting will be held at noon June 17 at Sundance Steakhouse to discuss the state-approved budget for the school district in the coming year.