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Artesia Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton received approval of the of the 2017-18 APS budget at Monday’s meeting of the APS board.

“Considering the financial burden that has been placed on school districts across the state, I feel that our district has weathered the storm, and we are in a better position than most,” Caton said.

Caton reported the district has an 11-percent cash balance, “which puts us in a pretty comfortable place, all things considered.”

Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services John Ross Null recognized the Artesia FFA Chapter for their accomplishments this year, including one state championship team and four second-place teams at the State CDE competition in Las Cruces.

In other business, Null received board approval to purchase K-12 social studies and K-5 science instructional material for the district in the amount of $200,587. Paper material will be taken from the categorical portion of the budget, and the technology portion will be taken from SB9 funds and will not affect operational dollars. Null also received board approval of the APS Memorandum of Understanding with the Artesia Head Start program.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps received board approval to:

— purchase HVAC controls for two 60-ton units located at Bulldog Pit for a total price of $29,016.66;

— replace the carpet at Yeso Elementary School for a total price of $239,890.50;

— purchase 120 laptops and four carts for Zia Intermediate School’s history department for a total price of $138,371.60;

— purchase 120 laptops and four carts for Park Junior High School’s history department for a total price of $138,371.60;

— purchase 50 laptops to replenish the inventory for the APS technology department for a total price of $54,396.50;

— purchase 75 desktop computers for Grand Heights Early Childhood Center for a total price of $47,500;

— renovate plumbing supply lines at Artesia High School’s annex for a total cost of $37,908.96;

— and purchase janitorial supplies for the district for a total cost of $66,683.39.

All of these projects with the exception of the janitorial supplies which will be paid out of the SB9 account, will be paid out of HB33 monies.

Caton also announced the resignations of Linda Beauchamp, cafeteria helper, Zia Intermediate, Brandi Cox, reading and math intervention teacher, Park Junior High, Jazmin Martha Granillo, Spanish teacher, Artesia High, Lillian Miller, ASL sign language interpreter and educational assistant, Zia Intermediate, Jourdan Rodriguez, science teacher, Artesia High, and Ramia Smith, district IT technician; and the employment of Andy Lopez, history teacher and coach, Artesia High.

Caton further reported that construction of the new administration building is set for completion June 30 and that the first board meeting in the new building should be held July 10, barring any unforeseen delays.

There will be a special meeting of the school board at 6 p.m. Monday, May 22, for the purpose of discussing the demolition of the existing welding area at Artesia High in order to begin construction on the new addition and electrical upgrades to Bulldog Bowl and the old boys’ gym. The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 12.