School board narrows middle school sites to two

Liliana Castillo

The Clovis Municipal Schools board of education stepped back Tuesday from a site for a proposed new middle school that it chose almost two months ago.

Instead, the board is moving forward with further study of two other sites.

They will now choose between:

• A donation site of 40 acres at Wilhite and Thornton streets owned by Clovis developer Sid Strebeck.

• A site of up to 47 acres for sale at Llano Estacado and Thornton streets and owned by the Burns family, who purchased the land in 1959.

Board members said the final decision on a new site could take place after a special Aug. 31 bond issue election to help fund the proposed third middle school.

“These sites are so new that the information we have is incomplete,” said board President Mark Lansford. “We need more financial data in order to be fully informed on a site.”

Lansford said the Burns site is more “shovel ready” than the Strebeck site but both are good options.

The board plans to have detailed evaluations of the two sites in four to six weeks, Lansford said, possibly after an Aug. 31 bond election that would pay the district’s 20 percent match on the $30 million, 900-student middle school. The remaining 80 percent would be paid for by the New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority.

“Where we choose to put a school will affect the area for 75 to 80 years,” Secretary Max Best said. “Our two main factors are picking a site that is safest for the students and the best for the taxpayers. We want to be thorough.”

The district is also planning to have 40 acres it owns along East 21st Street appraised and possibly sold. He said the proceeds could be used to purchase the Burns property.

In information provided by Deputy Superintendent of Operations Joel Shirley and FBT Architects, the Strebeck site would cost the district between $114, 885 and $199,550 and the Burns site would cost between $712,042 and $716,354.

Cost estimates include purchasing the land and development costs.

In other business, the board:

• Approved travel for the Clovis High School band to the Bands of America competition in St. George, Utah, in November.

• Chose Bradbury Stamm Construction out of Albuquerque as the construction manager at risk for a third middle school project.

• Approved the auction, trade and donation of band instruments and cafeteria tables. The money raised from selling the instruments would go toward newer instruments for the CHS marching band. About 150 cafeteria booth tables from Yucca Middle School will be sold or donated because the cafeteria has been remodeled and no other school in the district uses them.

• Approved a lease purchase agreement with Government Capital Corporation, which provides instructional software. The contract is being renewed.