Mountain School is higher priority

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By Wren Propp

An estimated $3.4 million worth of work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, wiring and roofing at Mountain Elementary School has been moved to the top of the list of capital improvements for the Los Alamos Public Schools.
The public school board last week approved moving the ranking of capital improvements at its Mountain Elementary to the top.
The improvement is part of the school district’s Five Year Facilities Master Plan, which is a document accessed by the Public School Facilities Authority (PSFA).
The school, which opened in 1950 and was last renovated in 2000, had been third on the list.
However, as the school district has begun finalizing renovations at Barranca Mesa Elementary School estimated to cost $14.8 million, the board met to consider the recommendation of Assistant Superintendent Lisa Montoya to remove Barranca Mesa from the top of the list and move projects at other schools forward.
The change in ranking would assist in getting additional state funds for the work in a timely manner, said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus. Up to $1.8 million for state funding for “systems” may be available.
A few board members expressed concern that moving Mountain Elementary from third to first would slight the two elementary schools in White Rock, which are also at the top of the list.
Steinhaus said the White Rock schools, Chamisa Elementary and Pinon Elementary, would remain “second-ish.”
The vote to move Mountain Elementary to the top of the list was unanimous.