Crews start demolishing Ruth N. Bond Elementary

Noel Lyn Smith

KIRTLAND — Crews started demolishing Ruth N. Bond Elementary School this week, as part of a plan to build a new school for the community.

Workers with C & C Demoltion Services use excavators to demolish the school on Tuesday at Ruth N. Bond Elementary School in Kirtland.

While the front of Ruth N. Bond remained mostly intact Tuesday, an excavator was tearing through brick and concrete on the back portion of the building that, for more than four decades, had sheltered teachers and students.

The front entrance of Ruth N. Bond Elementary School in Kirtland is demolished on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, about 30 percent of the 49,422 square-foot building was disassembled and workers from C and C Demolition Services of Albuquerque were clearing material from the site.

“I figured we’ll have the whole building on the ground by the end of the week,” said Scott Klassen, a superintendent at FCI Constructors Inc., the project's general contractor.

Scott Klassen, superintendent for FCI Constructors Inc., shows the inside of Ruth N. Bond Elementary School in Kirtland on Tuesday.

A second excavator and a pair of loaders cleared debris and formed stockpiles of concrete, metal and other material. Those materials will be hauled from the area and recycled, Klassen said.

Ruth N. Bond, which was built in 1969 and served students from kindergarten to third grade. As enrollment grew, additions were built in 1985, 1991, 2001 and 2009.

The only portion to remain from Ruth N. Bond is the gymnasium and media center because both are relatively new structures, Klassen said.

“We’re going to add on to that,” he said.

The school is being demolished to make space for the new Judy Nelson Elementary School.

The new school will house about 715 students from kindergarten through sixth grade and is part of the Central Consolidated School District’s plans to replace Ruth N. Bond and Grace B. Wilson Elementary schools.

Judy Nelson Elementary School will cover about 90,000 square feet and accommodate 40 classrooms.

A worker with C & C Demolition Services sprays down an area being demolished Tuesday at Ruth N. Bond Elementary School in Kirtland.

It will have a central space with two wings housing the majority of the classrooms, according to the website for Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the architectural firm selected for the project.

Construction of the new school will start after site preparation is completed.

“I only have 13 months to build this school,” Klassen said.

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