Column: Building Better Schools … Building Brighter Futures

By Dr. Gene Schmidt, superintendent
Los Alamos Public Schools                   

On Jan. 29, 2013, the voters of Los Alamos County will have the opportunity to build a brighter future for students with their vote on an all-mailed ballot for a $20 million construction bond that would not raise the tax rate.

The upcoming bond will fund the replacement of the academic wing of Aspen Elementary School.

The bond will also fund a variety of infrastructure costs such as new sewer and water lines for several schools. The bond will fund other much needed infrastructure costs including replacement of windows, repairs to some locker rooms, and improved fire alarm systems.

In addition, the bond will fund the design costs for the music wing of the high school, the design cost for a middle school gym, and the design costs for the next elementary school renovation. Some funding from the upcoming bond will be set aside to reinstate the courtyard that had been value engineered out of the middle school project.

Approval of Bond 2013 is the next step in the district’s long range facilities improvement plan that started with Bond 2009, which generated funds to modernize the high school and construct the academic wing of the middle school. Bond 2013 will primarily focus on replacing the academic wing of Aspen Elementary that was built in the early 1950s.

Aspen Elementary is badly in need of replacement as noted by the willingness of the State of New Mexico to contribute an additional $5.4 million to the construction budget. Simply stated, through your voting choice, the community will have the opportunity to constructa brand new 17 million dollar school for a cost of 12 million dollars.

Building better schools brightens the educational future of our children. Construction of Aspen Elementary, which is the oldest of the district’s schools, would begin in 2013 with an anticipated completion date in 2014.

The all-mailed ballot would be sent to registered voters in Los Alamos County. Ballots will be issued on Jan. 7, 2013, and must be returned to the County Clerk’s Office by Jan. 29, 2013.

The bond does not raise taxes because it serves as a replacement bond for the one approved by voters in 2009. For more information, residents are encouraged to check the School Bond 2013 Information on the districts website at or contact the Los Alamos Public Schools district office at 663-2230.

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