IF YOU GO

CCSD will hold two more public meeting to discuss the upcoming bond election.

One is at 6 p.m. today at Newcomb High School, U.S. Highway 491 Burnham Junction in Newcomb.

The other is at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center, State Route 504 in Shiprock.

KIRTLAND — A $20 million bond that would cover renovations at schools in the Central Consolidated School District will be put to voters in late August.

And discussion of that proposed bond led to a contentious two-hour meeting Monday evening.

More than 30 people packed into the Brooks/Isham Performing Arts Center in Kirtland to hear from CCSD representatives, who spoke about what the bond will accomplish for the district.

The proposed bond would fund development and construction of a single new elementary school building that would replace the aging Ruth N. Bond and Grace B. Wilson elementary schools, both in Kirtland. Bond was built in 1969, and Wilson was constructed in 1984.

During the last hour of the meeting, district representatives answered questions shouted from the audience.

Meeting attendees raised concerns about the district's plan to merge the two schools, rather than renovating each one.

"I think the schools we have are running well, and they aren't that old, per se," said Kirtland resident Cheryl John, who attended the meeting. "They have been taken care of and things should be as they are. Everyone is content."

Marilyn Strube, vice president of the architecture firm Greer Stafford SJCF, started the meeting with a presentation on the district's facility master plan, discussing how the state helps fund capital projects for renovation or new construction of school buildings. CCSD superintendent Don Levinski, director of operations Wynora Bekis and building and construction coordinator Dennis Fieldsted sat on stage beside her.

The estimated $25 million project would be built on the grounds of both schools to house about 700 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Together, the schools housed about 635 students in 2012.

Both schools rank near the top of the New Mexico Condition Index, which rates the state's public schools in order of most in need of repairs. Wilson is listed as No. 12, and Bond is No. 34.

Being on the NMCI list helps CCSD with funding from the state Public School Capital Outlay Council, which will contribute about $15.7 million toward the project. The school district will pick up the remaining $9.2 million.

Also included in the bond proposal is a renovation of Newcomb High School. Among the fixes being discussed are heating and air conditioning upgrades.

The San Juan County Clerk's Office is holding the election Aug. 27.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.