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New Chaparral Middle School renders raise questions | #schoolsaftey


Community members raised questions about the future cost of the new Chaparral Middle School at an Alamogordo Public Schools community meeting Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Alamogordo Public School (APS) District held the meeting to present the potential layout of the future middle school and hear public comment on the proposal.

At the meeting, several community members raised questions about safety features and the cost of the project in two to three years if inflation is not considered.

The design team consisted of five members: landscape architect Kenneth Francis, designer Ben Meyer, Lake Flato architect partner Greg Papay, architect Brandi Rickel, and from Studio Southwest, architect Steven Osborn.

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While the design team described the upcoming building as a campus that will connect students to the outdoors with renders portraying garage doors that open from classrooms to the courtyard and other classrooms containing large windows from floor to ceiling, parents in the audience asked if there will be any fencing to prevent potential shooters from accessing the campus.

“I saw a lot of floors to ceiling, on both sides of the glass and God forbid, but where are those children sheltering in place in the case of an active shooter?” a parent in the audience asked.

Parents asking questions about the safety measures in place for the potentially upcoming, new, Chaparral Middle School at a community meeting held by the Alamogordo Public Schools district on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Papay said each of the classrooms in the school will have access to another secure area.

“So, literally every space in the school will have a shelter location. This school has somewhere between 25% to 30% of glazing,” Papay said. “Part of what you see is a render that just shows you the character of the campus, but every one of those spaces comes within space of said, protected zones.”

Greg Papay and Brandi Rickels explain the potential layout of the new Chaparral Middle School at a community meeting held on Wednesday, Oct. 11 by the Alamogordo Public School District.

Vice Superintendent Colleen Tagle said outside of the construction, the district will put other measures in place such as heightened security with personnel and cameras in blind spots in addition to the fencing that will surround the campus.

“There are a number of tools that we use for campus security, so it isn’t just the fencing of the campus, but the security guards, the video surveillance, the electronic access and additional security guards,” Tagle said. “It starts with how we keep the kids safe.”

Community members were not just concerned about safety measures but voiced doubt about keeping the cost of building the facility down.

Alamogordo School Board Member running for seat three, Shannon Troy Wright asking about the landscaping at the community meeting hosted by the Alamogordo Public School district on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Shannon T. Wright, a candidate in the upcoming school board election, said he just wants residents to ask questions and be knowledgeable about the upcoming changes to the school. Wright inquired about previous estimates, current cost estimates and construction timelines.

“Initially construction estimates for the school were at $27 million,” Tagle said.





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