By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— A lot has changed over the last year in Del Norte, and construction on the new school is beginning to show evidence of what is to come.
A year ago, as of Nov. 7, the town opted to pass a bond issue for the remaining $18 million they needed to make a new school a reality. “It is hard to believe that we have come this far in a year’s time and we will be reaching the end before we know it,” said School Board President Neal Walters.
The new school is beginning to take shape and the town is eagerly awaiting the day when the students and staff can move into their new home. The construction process is currently focusing on getting the center building into place, working on masonry, electrical and plumbing for the surrounding buildings and pouring huge concrete slabs that will help stabilize the center building.
The Board of Education is continuing to work with the city on getting a grant to pay for a water line extension that will take pace at the beginning of spring. The Town of Del Norte is applying for a DOLA grant to help with funding for the project which is due at the beginning of December. The school board and town officials are working close together to make sure the funding comes through just in time to begin the project.
The school has also begun signing over titles from the old buildings to the new owners, beginning with the title for the Mesa Building to Del Norte Head Start. Though details on the new project for the Mesa Building are not clear, there are plans to remodel the entire building and have it ready for the start of school in 2019.
School officials are also beginning to review surveys done on the other properties like the high school, field house and middle school before finalizing the project to hand the properties over to their new owners as well. The Del Norte High School Field House will be the new fire department and training center and the high school building will be going to the Rio Grande National Forest once the new school has been completed.
According to previous statements, the Del Norte School is eager to see the changes that are coming to the community in the next year and now looking back, can see how the community was able to come together to achieve everything that has happened up until now.
“A year ago, we were just trying to get the funding for a new school and now look at where we are,” said Walters. “It’s been an amazing process.”