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The August meeting of the Artesia Public Schools Board of Education was held Monday night, with the first order of business being the swearing in of the board’s newest member, David Conklin, by the Honorable Judge Daniel J. Reyes.

Conklin fills the vacancy left by Becky Harwell at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

In other business, the board received an architectural services report from Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, who stated the new HVAC system at Bulldog Pit is 99 percent complete, pending the testing and balancing of the new units. The ongoing Artesia High School Auditorium project, which includes HVAC, signage and fire alarms, is set to be completed in September.

The Administration Building project on the site of the former AHS Natatorium is also ongoing, with the “design and development”¬†phase completed and the “construction document”¬†phase beginning. The company reported to the board the substantial completion date of the building is estimated to be November 2016.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum John Ross Null reported the district’s report card for school year 2013-2014 had been received, and the district received a B grade overall, which encompasses all 10 campuses of the APS system.

Null also reported that upon the completion of the second summer session, the AHS class of 2015 had 219 total graduates, and that there were, as of Monday, more than 3,900 students enrolled to start school in Artesia Aug. 17. Null said there of course would be changes to that number, as not all of those registered will begin school for one reason or the other. The final numbers will be available late next week.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps sought the approval of the board to repair and resurface 10 tennis courts at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex at a cost of $72,647.27. Phipps told the board the courts had not been “touched” since they were built and are in dire need of maintenance to include power washing, filling of cracks with acrylic, cement and court patch, refinishing, and repainting.

Phipps advised the board the lowest bid had been from Advantage Courts of Lubbock, Texas, and work will begin after the safety of the court is assured, as there is a stabilizing wire that is not doing its job and poses a safety hazard.

The board approved the proposal and was told by Phipps the work would be done in late September and early October, before it gets too cold but after some of the heat dissipates.

Phipps also sought approval to accept the low quote for “testing and balancing” of the new HVAC system at Bulldog Pit, which was not included in the contract to install the system.

Phipps reported he “learned a new lesson” and that this would type of work would be included in all future contracts of this type. The low bid for the testing is from Carrier at a cost of $24,313.50, which was approved by the board and is to be done Sept. 1-2.

Board member Carolyn Shearman asked Phipps about the effectiveness of the Eighth Street school crossing, to which Phipps responded that at the end of school in May, only four to five children were utilizing the crossing per day, but he expects those numbers to increase as people become aware of its existence.

Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton reported to the board that Felix Flores, custodian at Hermosa Elementary School had retired. In other personnel business, Deanna Lovelace, fourth-grade teacher at Yucca Elementary School, Terri Menefee, special education teacher at Yeso Elementary School, and Jeanie Smith, second- grade teacher at Yeso, have been granted leaves of absence.

Naomi Ivans, SPED assistant at Roselawn Elementary School, Kara Johnson, English teacher at Park Junior High School, Kathy Lunsford, custodian at Yucca Elementary School, and Jessica Sanders, sixth-grade teacher at Zia Intermediate School, have all resigned.

Caton also sought the board’s approval to move the October board meeting from Oct. 12 (Columbus Day) to Oct. 5. The move was granted by the board.

Caton gave a construction update to the board including the completion of the work at Park Junior High School, new cabinets at Roselawn, new lockers and a practice track at Zia, security vestibules as Yeso, Yucca, Central and Hermosa, reroofing at Yucca, extended parking and an outdoor volleyball court, pole vault pit and two long jump pits at Bulldog Bowl, and the delay of the security vestibule for AHS until Spring Break.

The next meeting of the APS Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14.