ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- In a few weeks, Albuquerque voters will head to the polls to weigh in on a $575-million bond proposal for Albuquerque Public Schools. The district wants to spend a lot of that money on high school sports facilities, mainly the gyms.
If passed, the bonds will be used to fix up old schools and build new ones. Highland High School is the district’s oldest high school campus and would get nearly $15.5 million to renovate its gym and other athletic facilities.
“I think the opportunity to put a new face on our front porch where our community comes in and sees what Highland is all about and we’ll be able to show off a beautiful facility,” said Highland High School Athletic Director John Barnhill.
The gym itself has been updated in recent years, but if approved, the bond would fund upgrades behind the scenes, including in the locker rooms, bathrooms and training room. It would also provide for a new area for the cheer and drill teams and a bigger lobby area for spectators but officials say the upgrades are not solely about athletics.
Barnhill said, “Getting a good balance between the academic side and the athletic side, making sure we have enough of the facilities for all of our P.E. classes and our athletic classes and our electives.”
APS also wants to spend more than $40-million on athletic facilities at Manzano, La Cueva and Rio Grande, mainly on the gyms there. Part of it is making sure the girls have the same resources and amenities as the boys, to make the schools Title Nine compliant.
There’s also money for better technology and better security, for more surveillance cameras, to make it harder for burglars and vandals.
APS bond elections are known for very low turnouts. Voters have only turned down APS once in these bond elections in 2002.
The election is February. Click here for more information about the APS bond election.