Tucumcari school’s field house running on warm water

By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun

Tucumcari’s school system’s athletic field house would be in hot water if it had any hot water.

But with a contract for new hot water heaters and repairs to existing heaters, the water’s expected to get warmer, said school officials.
Why there was no hot water at the Rhodes Field House was one of the several topics discussed at the Tucumcari school board meeting Monday night.

The field house is where the high school holds physical education classes.

Tucumcari resident, Drake Swenson, who attended the board meeting, said he was concerned about infections that could result because a lack of hot water would prevent proper hygiene, such as hand washing.

Board member Carlos Romero also questioned the school’s ability to properly clean sports equipment without hot water.
Tucumcari school officials assured the board that the problem is being addressed and will be fixed.

The lack of hot water arose because commercial hot water heaters at the high school’s Rhodes Field House have been overworked, Tucumcari assistant superintendent Dennis Roch said on Tuesday.

As a result there is only warm water, not hot water for showers, Roch said. Additional hot water units have been ordered to correct the problem and they should arrive within two weeks, Roch said.

Despite the shortage of hot water at the field house, school officials said they are confident the facility and sports equipment is being properly cleaned.

“The school has a new contract with Brady Industries,” Roch said. “It is a janitorial services that provides not only products to sanitize and disinfect the facility but also offers training to our staff to ensure the facility is cleaned correctly.”

Not only have hot water heaters been an issue, but heaters at the Rattler Gym recently went kaput. Some of the heaters were replaced at the gym over the Thanksgiving holiday, Roch said.

“The construction of a new high school will help us prevent future problems,” Roch said. “Its not only for the instructional aspect but mostly about creating an optimal environment for the student to learn in.”

Looking to future enrollment, school officials estimated that the current enrollment would hold steady at 1,110 students through the year 2009. Project enrollment for the 2008-2009 school year is 559 elementary students, 216 middle school students and 335 high school students.

The board also presented, for the first time, a group of proposed new and changed policies for review. The policies will come before the board at its next meeting. These include:
l Anti-Bullying
l Family Life Education
l HIV/AIDS Education
l Student wellness
l Emergencies
l Board Member Conduct

Other items before the board included:
l A $500 donation from the National Research Center on Rural Education Support
l A $300 donation from the Big Valley Auto in Portales
l A donation of the America Encyclopedia Britannica from Mr. and Mrs. Kelly McFarland