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Darian Peterson, drama student and senior at Artesia High School, displays her certificate after being recognized Monday by the Artesia Public Schools Board of Education for being selected as one of a handful of All-Festival Cast Members during the 2016 NMAA State High School One-Act Production Competition, held concurrently with the High Desert Theatre Festival in Las Cruces. Drama coach Eugene Irby recognized all participants from AHS Drama, saying, “My hats off to you guys. This is my fourth year to coach this club, and I have enjoyed every minute of this.” Pictured with Darian is her mother, Melissa Peterson, and, from left, APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton, board members Jeff Bowman and David Conklin, and School Board President Lowell Irby. (Teresa Lemon - Daily Press)

Darian Peterson, drama student and senior at Artesia High School, displays her certificate after being recognized Monday by the Artesia Public Schools Board of Education for being selected as one of a handful of All-Festival Cast Members during the 2016 NMAA State High School One-Act Production Competition, held concurrently with the High Desert Theatre Festival in Las Cruces. Drama coach Eugene Irby recognized all participants from AHS Drama, saying, “My hats off to you guys. This is my fourth year to coach this club, and I have enjoyed every minute of this.” Pictured with Darian is her mother, Melissa Peterson, and, from left, APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton, board members Jeff Bowman and David Conklin, and School Board President Lowell Irby. (Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education received a report Monday from Benjamin Gardner with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini on the progress of the new Administration Building and Professional Development Training Center project.

Gardner reported the building is 35 percent complete, with a completion date of July 21, 2017, and a contractual completion date of July 9, 2017, meaning the project is currently 12 days behind schedule due to recent weather complications.

Gardner also reported on the utilization and facilities assessment the firm has recently completed at the request of the board. Gardner stated all elementary schools in the Artesia Public Schools system are being 100-percent utilized and that the New Mexico Department of Education recommends facilities be only at 85-percent utilization in order to absorb new students and other programs.

Gardner reported Yeso and Yucca Elementary Schools have the highest capacity of students per square footage but that they were not, as of yet, overcrowded. The report shows Grand Heights Early Childhood Center is at 95-percent utilization, Central Elementary at 100 percent, Hermosa at 100 percent, Roselawn at 85 percent, Yeso at 100 percent, Penasco at 14 percent, and Yucca at 100 percent. Zia Intermediate School is at 93 percent, Park Junior High at 80 percent, and Artesia High School at 82 percent.

“The junior high and high schools’ utilization rates mean that you have a small bit of excess capacity in those facilities,” said Gardner. “With projected enrollment increases through 2021, they should be able to absorb the excess capacity that is coming up from the elementary schools very easily, and you have some time before you would need a new facility, if the enrollment keeps on an upward trend as it has been in the last few years.”

In tandem with the utilization assessment, the firm conducted a facilities conditioning index of all of the schools and athletic structures.

“We identified numerous deficiencies in each classroom,” Gardner said. “We will be ranking those and putting in an estimated cost for repair. This information will be used in the facilities master plan for the board to make a decision on which projects you would plan for within that five-year plan.”

During the October meeting of the board, Assistant Superintendent Thad Phipps asked the board for approval to accept an open-end work order from Dekker/Perich/Sabatini for architectural services for the re-roofing design plan of the lower building at Penasco School at a total price of $20,825.06 due to the metal roof leaking. After discussion, Phipps modified his initial request and asked the board for permission to research this project to seek alternative options to remedy this problem.

During Monday’s meeting, Gardner also reported to the board that the firm had explored two options, one being to add a metal roof over the existing building and two being a re-roof.

He stated there are only a couple of leaks in the roof and the two options the firm would suggest to the board would be, one, a roof coating at a cost of $65,000, and two, an additional roof at a cost of $120,000. The firm recommended the coating process to the board, as the school is a 75-year-old building that, with roof repairs, can last another 15 years.

In other business, the board approved a request from Assistant Superintendent Danny Parker to purchase a new student information system for the district at a cost of $74,648 with an annual cost of $42,000 per year, and a request from Scotty Stall to complete an email conversion for the district at a cost of $25,900.

During the October meeting, Assistant Superintendent John Ross Null reported the 2015-16 teacher summative evaluation scores for all certified teachers in the district had been received from the New Mexico Public Education Department. Null reported the value-added scores in the secondary levels in math, English and science increased significantly, with the average summative score being 137.47 compared to the state average of 131.81.

He also reported 13 teachers were able to bypass the dossier process and advance from Level I to Level II or from Level II to Level III due to their summative evaluation scores.

The board also accepted the resignations Monday of Vanessa Elkins, science teacher, and Rosalia Berdoza, cafeteria; the retirements of Rebecca Torrez, family and consumer science teacher, and Analise Smith, secretary; and the employment of Alejandro Montes, cafeteria; and Maria Lucero, cafeteria.

The next regular meeting of the APS Board of Education is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12.