FARMINGTON — School board members have increased the budget and scope of projects at Northeast Elementary and Hermosa Middle schools in an effort to bring the conditions of those schools up to par with other Farmington schools.
Board members approved increasing the budget for a proposed $20 million in renovations and additions for Northeast and Hermosa by an estimated $1.1 million during the Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education meeting Thursday.
Ted Lasiewicz, New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority regional manager, said the district is ready to make enough improvements to satisfy the New Mexico Facility Condition Index, which ranked both schools in the state's top 100 most in need of repairs.
"The goal is to make improvements in the school that are significant enough that the school will not have to be looked at for another 25 years," Lasiewicz said.
Former superintendent of operations James Barfoot retired from his position on June 13 and Lasiewicz will join the school district in Barfoot's former position in July.
The proposed project will help pay for an additional six classrooms at Northeast, one more than the five proposed in March. The school will add two more portable classrooms for the upcoming school year, bringing the total to eight.
Marilyn Strube from the architecture firm Greer Stafford SJCF estimated the expanded scope would cost about $1.1 million, in a recommendation written to the board members about the project. But during the school board meeting Thursday, Lasiewicz said a more exact figure will be determined during the design process.
Enrollment at Northeast is higher than anticipated with an estimated enrollment nearing 600 students, which is guiding the construction plans.
Electrical upgrades, a general remodel of older parts of buildings and installing a sprinkler system for fire suppression are also included in the plans.
Work identified for Hermosa originally included remodeling the kitchen, offices, lobby area, gym, stage, art and economics classrooms and locker rooms along with a sewer line replacement.
Lasiewicz said replacement of equipment in the kitchen is being discussed along with replacing the heating and air conditioning system and flooring at Hermosa.
"Mesa View Middle School is relatively new and a bunch of work was done at Heights (Middle School)," Lasiewicz said. "We want to bring it up to parity with those other schools."