SHIPROCK — Central Consolidated School District officials say a proposed $20 million bond to help fund a new elementary school would relieve crowding in one of its Kirtland schools and save money buy combining that school with another.
During the Board of Education meeting Tuesday, boards members passed a resolution and proclamation to hold a special school district general obligation bond election on Aug. 26.
Spokesman James Preminger said the goal is to combine both elementary schools into a brand-new building to handle kindergarten through sixth grade.
"Ruth N. Bond is busting at the seams while Grace B. Wilson has a little bit of space," Preminger said.
The bond will not increase taxes as it is a continuation of a tax already in place, Preminger said.
The money generated by the bond will help fund the development and construction of a new elementary school near the campus grounds of Wilson and Bond elementary schools, a project costing about $24.9 million.
Renovations on Newcomb High School along with air conditioning work for Kirtland and Shiprock high schools also are included in the bond resolution.
"It makes sense since both schools are on the same campus," Superintendent Don Levinski said. "It makes sense to us and to the state, where they make the decisions."
Bond housed 369 fourth, fifth and sixth graders in 2012 while Wilson had 266 students enrolled for kindergarten through third grade classes. The new building is being developed with an estimated 700 student population in mind.
Both schools ranked in the 100 schools most in need of repair by the New Mexico Condition Index, with Bond listed as No. 33 and Wilson No. 11.
Bond was built in 1969. Four additions were built and six portable classrooms are currently in use. Wilson was built in 1984.
Because the schools are on the list, the state Public School Capital Outlay Council will help fund the construction of the new elementary with about $15.7 million, or 63 percent of the project. The remaining $9.3 million will be the district's share.
Levinski said the estimated savings from merging the two schools is about $400,000 a year before positions like secretaries are accounted for.
With the school scheduled to be completed by August 2016, Levinski said no jobs will be affected for three years, with plenty of time for the district to reduce positions through attrition.
For Newcomb High, discussions continue about what renovations will take place, Preminger said.
Board president Matthew Tso said the board members have been discussing the bond project for about a year.
"Overall, I think it's going to be a good project for the district as a whole," Tso said. "It will help meet the needs of our students."