Plans for new middle school press forward

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Municipal Schools board has taken the first step for the district and Public School Facilities Authority to move forward on plans to build a new middle school to absorb growth from Cannon Air Force Base.

The school board approved educational specifications for a new middle school and elementary school, should the district need one, at their regular meeting Tuesday. The district was awarded $2 million for planning and design of the middle school two months ago by the Public School Capital Outlay Council.

The school will cost a total of $34 million to build. Deputy Superintendent of Operations Joel Shirley said while the district has secured planning and design money, the economy will dictate when the district receives funds to build the school.

Shirley said the district is looking for an architect to design the school based on the educational specifications. He said the process all the way to construction documents and bids will take a year. The plan is to open the doors to the school in the fall of 2013.

Now the district is using portable classrooms to deal with growth.

Funds to renovate La Casita Elementary School and give Zia Elementary School a new roof have been secured and construction will begin in the summer of 2010, Shirley said.