Schools ready to make use of bond money

A computer screen at the Curry County Courthouse shows the unofficial results of the school bond election Tuesday night as Clovis School’s Superintendent Neil Nuttall, left, is congratulated on the passing of the bond issue. CNJ photo: Eric Kluth.

Ryan Lengerich

Let the renovations commence.
The Clovis school bond has been passed and Assistant Superintendent Lonnie Leslie said structural improvement could begin as early as fall and technological upgrades could start in April.
Voters showed overwhelming support for a $5 million five-year bond in Tuesday’s election. The bonds will be taken to an attorney and sold over the next three months. During that time, Leslie said school officials will spend the time designing projects and applying for state funding.
Each year schools are given a time period to apply for state funding on a project-by-project basis. Leslie said applications are filed in the spring and school officials testify during the summer. State funding is awarded around the beginning of the following school year and projects can begin as early the fall.
Money is already in place from a 2000 bond to finish work on Clovis High School and begin work at Marshall Junior High.
With the new bond money, the No. 1 priority, Leslie said, is repairing the 15-year-old roof at Yucca Junior High. He said the flat, rubber-membrane roof can open 30-foot cracks during a strong rain. This has prompted maintenance crews to use squeegees to push rain off the roof during downpours.
“We did not get a particularly good value for that system,” Leslie said.
Yucca Principal Jody Balch said he has been requesting roof improvements for about 10 years and is elated his school is a top priority. Waiting until fall is no problem, he said.
“Just knowing help is on the way is early enough. There was no guarantee we would get a roof until the bond passed,” Balch said. “After big rains it is like a fish bowl up there. You could have fish live in there — for a good, long time.”
Leslie said the finishing installment of fiber optic cables throughout the school system could begin by April. About half the schools, including central office and CHS, are linked through fiber optic cable now.
The fiber optic project is not eligible for funding from the state and will be funded 100 percent by local money. Since the schools will not be forced to wait for state funding, the project could begin this spring. Leslie estimated the fiber optic installation will cost “several hundred thousand dollars.”
Other identified bond money projects include roof replacements for about 12 schools; additions to the CHS library and music room; classroom and cafeteria renovations districtwide; heating, cooling and plumbing renovations at six schools; parking additions; and additional classrooms to replace portable classrooms.