School board approves land acquisition for middle school

Liliana Castillo

The Clovis Municipal School board of education approved a contract Tuesday to acquire 40 acres of donated land from Clovis developer Sid Strebeck.

Thirty acres will be used to build a proposed new middle school. The contract included the offer of 10 additional acres for the future development of an elementary school, sewer and water lines extended to the property line. A letter from Citizens Bank of Clovis accompanied the contract, stating that they have a loan reserved for Strebeck in the amount of $216,250 to be used to pay for sewer and water improvements.

Superintendent Terry Myers said the contract favored the district. Strebeck is responsible to pay for any amount over the $216,250, if needed.

The contract also includes six acres of water rights given to the district. Deputy Superintendent of Operations Joel Shirley said that equals $80,000 in savings annually.

Board President Mark Lansford said he wants to move on to the next phase.

“Now that we’ve got that behind us, now I’m anxious for the projects to begin and not just this one,” he said. “We have needs all over the district that need to be addressed.”

A $16 million bond issue was passed Aug. 31 that provided the district with construction money for projects districtwide, a new Lockwood Elementary School and its share of a 900-student middle school. District officials have said growth, largely from Cannon Air Force Base, will push district population over 9,000 students.

Lansford said the district will begin selling bonds after the first of the year, allowing construction to begin.

The board also approved an option agreement for 15 acres with Clovis resident Gary Lockmiller. The land will be used to build a replacement Lockwood Elementary School. Shirley said he will come back to the board to acquire the land in January. Lockmiller’s father donated the land the current building sits on.

In other business, the board:

• Approved canvassed results from the general obligation special school bond election. The results were that 1,561 voted for and 927 voted against with 2,488 votes cast.

• Delegated approval of fundraisers and authorization to revise “Guidelines and Procedures for School Fundraising” to the superintendent. Myers said the board is inundated with fundraising requests in October, February and May and with this authorization, he could approve fundraisers without going to the board.

• Discussed the Signs of Suicide program that the district will be implementing. The program teaches students and teachers what the signs of depression and what actions they should take. The program includes a video and forms that need to be signed by parents. Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cindy Martin said parents can opt their students out of the program.

• Approved a request for the Clovis High School choir to travel to South Padre Island in Texas for the Gulf Coast Showcase of Music. About 75 students will attend with 12 sponsors. Students will raise $500 to cover the cost of the trip through fundraising.

• Introduced curriculum for weight lifting and body sculpting for seventh and eighth grades. The board will vote on the curriculum in a month.

• Approved the consent agenda.

• Approved a joint powers agreement with the Public School Capital Outlay Council for facilities management assistance and oversight. Shirley said the agreement is necessary to ensure the district receives match dollars from the PSCOC.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding for student dental services with Educare Dental Services and an agreement with La Casa Family Health Center.