Hermosa Height Elementary School (HHES) hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of $3.5 million worth of additions and renovations to the campus, Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 1:30 p.m. in the Hermosa Heights Elementary multipurpose room, 1655 E Amador Ave.
“The new facility gives us the space we needed to accommodate our school’s growing population,” said HHES Interim Principal Shelley Harris. “Prior to this project, physical education classes were held in portables and we had to have seven different lunch periods because of the limited size of our cafeteria.”
Completed over the course of 14 months, the project added 12,500 sq. ft. of new construction which included a new multipurpose room with a basketball court, bleachers, a performance stage and a new kitchen and cafeteria. The school’s former cafeteria and kitchen had never been expanded since the school was first built in 1958.
The project also renovated approximately 2,800 sq. ft. of campus, transforming the existing cafeteria into the school’s new music classrooms. In addition, security doors were added in the entrance lobby to ensure that anyone entering the building has to stop at the front office in order to gain access to the school, said district officials.
The school also received a new main entrance canopy and the parking lot was expanded by 56 parking spaces and six Americans with Disabilities parking spaces. Since the 30,200 square foot parking lot expansion was a cooperative project with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), the NMDOT provided $16,800 of funding to support the project.
The project was designed by Vigil & Associates (VA) Architects and built by ESA Construction. Both firms are New Mexico companies which have worked on a variety of LCPS projects.
Officials said, all of the additions and renovations were designed to fit with the mid-century style of the school while also bringing a modern aesthetic to the campus. The project was paid for through voter-approved funds from the 2014 bond election.
“This project is a prime example of how bond funds can completely transform a campus,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing. “Not only did this project improve campus security, it provided the facilities our staff and students need to be successful.”
This project is very similar to construction projects the school district is hoping to complete during the next four years at Fairacres, Desert Hills and Hillrise Elementary Schools. According to district officials, if the 2018 school bond election passes, the district may use approximately $15,000,000 to complete similar multipurpose room additions and renovations at all three elementary schools.
On Feb. 6, 2018, voters within the Las Cruces School District will consider a $50 million General Obligation Bond Issue. If approved, the funds may be used throughout Las Cruces Public Schools to provide new classrooms and multipurpose rooms, safety and security upgrades, major school renovations such as new roofs and heating and cooling systems, new furniture, playground equipment, districtwide technology support, and/or phase I of major upgrades to physical plant facilities. Voter approval of the bond would not increase the current school tax rate.
-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, email@example.com, (575) 527-5808