CCSD OKs new access road for Nizhoni Elementary

Noel Lyn Smith
Nizhoni Elementary School fourth-grade student Zhikilye Belone gets picked up by her mom on Thursday from the school in Shiprock.

FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District board last week approved two bids for work at Nizhoni Elementary School in Shiprock.

The first project is the construction of a new access road that would serve as a drop-off and pick-up area for students.

Dennis Fieldsted, the district's building and construction coordinator, said on Thursday that the new road would be located away from the existing road. When construction is complete, the existing road would only accommodate buses.

In addition, a walking path will be installed alongside the new road, and signage will be added to provide directions for drivers, he said.

"It's a big project," Fieldsted said.

Parents line up to pick up their children on Thursday at Nizhoni Elementary School in Shiprock.

Nizhoni Elementary accommodates 547 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

The district is moving forward with the project to ease traffic between personal vehicles and buses, Fieldsted said.

The new road will also provide easier access for parents to deliver and pick up their children, he added.

The bidding process for the road opened last month, and the district received three bids.

Board members voted 4-0 to approve the $264,136 bid from Farmington-based Consolidated Constructors to build the road.

If agreements and paperwork are in place, construction could start this month, Fieldsted said.

Students line up to catch the bus on Thursday at Nizhoni Elementary School in Shiprock.

The other bid school board members awarded is for $295,367 to Farmington Heating and Metal to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the school’s K wing.

The bid, which passed 4-0, also covers the replacement of the stove ventilation in the school's kitchen.

CCSD spokesman James Preminger said K wing houses three pre-kindergarten classes and four kindergarten classes, as well as art and bilingual classes.

The new HVAC system would help students by creating a comfortable learning environment during the school year, Preminger said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.