New high school opens

More than 100 attended the official opening of the completed $22 million Tucumcari High School building.

"The students will have a chance to start the year off right in this newly constructed school," said Nicole Bright-Lesley, principal.

Bright-Lesley said she always joked about being confused when she took the job as principal, and was given a contract and a hard hat.

Bright-Lesley said the crews responsible for the construction did a phenomenal job. She sad a lot of credit also goes towards the residents of Tucumcari.

"On behalf of myself, the staff and students, thank you from the bottom of our hearts," Bright-Lesley said.

"This project gave me a chance to come home," said Pat McMurray, senior facility manager, Public School Facility Authority.

McMurray said this project had special meaning for him as he is a Tucumcari High School graduate. He said the community should know just how involved and determined the leadership of this school was to make the new high school a reality.

McMurray said he was there for the first series of meetings and saw how the board of education and Aaron McKinney listened to the teachers, students and public on what was needed. He said by completing this school the leadership has shown the kids it supports them and wants them to be the very best they can be.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., issued a statement on the high school's completion.

"I want to thank the school board and all of those who came together to help make this new high school a reality," Lujan said. "I also want to recognize the faculty and staff who will soon get to work as the school year begins. There is no more noble profession than educating young people, who with your guidance and support will go on to achieve great things."

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