Board looks at reinvesting in own facilities

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By Tris DeRoma

For many years, the Los Alamos School system could always count on revenues from properties it leases out to area businesses. Those properties were mostly schools that were closed long ago, converted to office space and then rented out to such places as Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as small business.
Lately however, LAPS has been feeling the strain of owning facilities that are aging rapidly in a real estate market that now has more vacancies in it than occupancies.
At a recent School Board meeting, Joanie Ahlers, the chief operations officer for Los Alamos Public Schools, brought this issue before the board in an effort to get the board to regularly reinvest in the school systems leased facilities.
“LAPS leased facilities is one of the Board’s largest areas of responsibility. It is a tremendous source of revenue for the district,” Ahlers said in a specially-prepared report for the board. “Our facilities are aging and very little capital reinvestment has occurred in the past to keep them viable, revenue generating properties. A capital reinvestment strategy is desperately needed in order to maintain the tenants that we have and to increase the possibility to attract new ones.”

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