School system lacking adequate roof repair funds

By Tony Parra

The New Mexico Public School Facility Authority allocated money to the Portales School District to fix roofs of some of the school buildings. The problem is it wasn’t enough to fix all the roofs that need repairing, according to school officials.

During a work session on Monday afternoon, Randy Fowler, Portales School District superintendent, said NMPSFA representatives set aside $612,000 for roof repairs to James, Steiner and Brown elementaries and the old basketball gym at the Portales Junior High.

Fowler said the problem is that the architect’s estimates are $1.56 million to do the roofing projects. This means school officials would be $965,000 short of the amount needed to do the work.

“What it looks like is that we’ll be able to do one, maybe two roofs,” Fowler said.

Fowler said NMPSFA officials told him they would do what they can so the roofs would be fixed. He said the estimates would be provided to NMPSFA officials in an effort to see if more money would be provided. Fowler said school administrators would like to have construction workers start on the project during the summer.

l Fowler reported that legislators appropriated $325,000 of the $750,000 requested from the Capital Outlay session for bathroom repairs and the installation of energy-effecient windows in the Steiner, James and Lindsey elementary buildings.

“I think it’s great,” Fowler applauded the area legislators. Gov. Bill Richardson still has to approve the capital outlay appropriations. “We have some funds to help with some of our older schools.”

• Portales High School students start taking tests today which are one of the determining factors in the Adequate Yearly Progress reports.

“Testing will be going on this week, because next week the (basketball) state tournaments start,” Portales High School Principal Melvin Nusser said.

If the Portales boys’ and girls’ basketball teams win on Friday and Saturday, they will advance to the state tournament in Albuquerque from March 6-11.

Much of the AYP testing for elementary students takes place from March 6-11.

Priscilla Mestas, director of instruction for the district, said the school must have a 95 percent participation rate. Mestas said if the school doesn’t have that rate the school would automatically fail to make AYP.

• The La Casa Family Center administrators have won the bid to provide health clinic services to the school district and Fowler said they would like more room for the health wellness clinic.

Fowler said he is not in favor of expansion at the current location of the wellness clinic in the annex building behind the central office. Fowler said he would be in favor of a portable building for the wellness clinic.

Terry Warnica, director of special education services, said La Casa health care employees work out of a portable building in the Clovis School District.