FARMINGTON — Farmington schools are preparing for a bond election in which voters could approve $35 million in general obligation bonds.
During the Farmington Municipal Schools board of education meeting Thursday evening, board members heard a presentation about the Feb. 4, 2014, bond election. If approved by voters, the $35 million would fund renovation and construction of a number of schools in the district.
Paul Cassidy, a managing director for RBC Capital Markets, spoke about the draft copies of the election resolution and proclamation.
The board is tentatively scheduled to vote on Nov. 14 on the resolution for the election.
If voters approve the bond question, it would not increase property taxes, Cassidy said.
The bonds would cover the district's portion of construction on Farmington High, Northeast Elementary and Hermosa Middle schools.
Renovating and replacing buildings on Farmington High's campus is estimated to cost about $50 million. Renovations at Northeast are priced at $12.7 million and Hermosa is at $10.2 million.
The New Mexico Public School Capital Outlay Council has awarded money for design services for the three schools, but it cannot give funding for construction until the district has its portion of the funding in place, said Ted Lasiewicz, the school district's chief of operations.
District officials are still debating whether other projects could be funded by the bonds, Lasiewicz said. As the district finishes work on the facility master plan, officials are discussing if the district will need a new school within the next five years.
"There are 45 portable (classrooms) in just the elementary schools," Lasiewicz said. "If you do the math, that justifies a new elementary school."
Farmington voters last passed a bond in 2010 for $50 million, which helped fund construction of the new Tibbetts Middle School campus on Twin Peaks Boulevard, along with a number of other projects. Those projects included the fieldhouse at the Hutchison Stadium football field, a library addition at Animas Elementary, roof repairs at Piedra Vista High School and the pre-kindergarten center at the Career and Technology Education Center.
Bond elections were also passed in 2006 for $25 million and in 2003 and 1999 each for $15 million.