Posted with permission from the Hobbs News SunDOROTHY N. FOWLER
This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed new Caton Middle School in Eunice. The $30.2 million bond approved by voters this week will make it possible to build a new junior high school and a new gymnasium.
Superintendent of Eunice Municipal Schools Dwain Haynes was on top of his world Thursday morning as he spoke about the positive results of Tuesday’s bond election.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a $32.5 million for a new middle school building and a new gymnasium.
“I appreciate the positive support in the community,” Haynes said. “I looked at the vote and saw that about a third of the people who voted opposed the bonds, but I think they are not against the school, but they are telling us they want us to be careful with their dollars.”
The unofficial vote tally was 313 votes for the bond and 102 against.
Haynes said the votes will be canvassed on Nov. 14 in the Lea County Courthouse in Loving-ton, but in the meantime, architects will be at work on what he called “the mechanicals,” which have to be completed before ground can be broken in late May or early June.
“Junior high students will spend next year in the old building, but we’re planning to go into the new building on August 21 of next year,” Haynes said. “Then we’ll tear down the old building and build the new gymnasium. We hope it will be ready one year from from the time we get into the new junior high school.”
Haynes said the tax rate will not change as a result of the bond approval.
“We have paid down the debt from the last bond election and so this just continues as usual. What the community gets from this is a great new school building and the gym,” Haynes said. “The gym will serve the entire school district.”
Haynes said the school district is not likely to hire a risk manager for the building projects.
“I’ve had enough experience and have enough outside resources that if we have any problems or questions, we can handle them,” Haynes said.
The new Caton Middle School will be located north of the current school and in the field east of Mettie Jordan Elementary School. The new middle school will be a 47,000-square-foot, single-story building.