Board discusses new school funding

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

By Thomas Garcia

Freedom New Mexico

The Tucumcari Public School Board discussed the need for additional fund-raisers and Capital Outlay funds to aid in the cost of the new high school.

The board approved the design for the new high school and construction is scheduled to begin in November, Tucumcari schools superintendent Aaron McKinney said.

The board needs to approach the state Legislature for assistance with the new high school project, board member Doug Powers said during Thursday’s meeting.

This project will be will be done in two phases, allowing classes to continue uninterrupted. The first phase could be completed by August 2009, McKinney said.

The school received $3 million from the 2006 school bond cycle and the state has matched 75 percent of that bonded amount.

Currently the school has $14 million needed for the $23 million project and the additional money could be sought through legislative appropriations or from the next bonding cycle in 2011, McKinney said.

“It has been three years since Tucumcari Schools has asked for any assistance from the Legislature,” McKinney said.

The board’s goal in seeking additional funds is to help offset the rising construction cost and the purchasing of equipment for the high school.

Approaching alumni for donations and fund-raisers are another way to raise funds for the new high school, according board member Albert Mitchell.

“Mesalands was able to raise quite a bit of money for their Dinosaur Museum,” Mitchell said. “Next summer would be a key time to engage in fund raising with the alumni in town for the reunion and the centennial celebration.”

Board members discussed possibly hiring or appointment of a fundraiser/grant coordinator for the Tucumcari schools.

The board’s focus quickly turned to the schools results for the