Las Cruces High School officials: renovations costly, but necessary

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Renovations for Las Cruces High School will cost more than El Paso's new AAA baseball stadium. School officials say they're necessary.

The project will cost around $82 million. That's not far off from the cost of building the new Centennial High School, which was $110 million.

"The cost I didn't realize. They could build a whole new school," one parent said.

By the time the project is done, it practically will be a new school: new classrooms, auxiliary gym, performing arts theatre and cafeteria. That's just a part of what the $82 million will cover.

"It is a significant renovation cost wise, but for Las Cruces in general to have competitive high schools with what is being built around the country and around the state. I think it's very necessary," said LCHS Principal Jed Hendee.

The school is also getting new drainage, utility upgrades and traffic controls.

A spokeswoman for the school district told ABC-7 the district is only paying for a third of the project. The state will pay $2 for every dollar the district pays.

"We're kind of getting ourselves back to where we need to be to provide out students with state-of-the-art education, so Las Cruces High when it's done will look like no other high school in New Mexico," Hendee said.

School officials and parents I spoke with seem excited about the future of the school.

"I think it's a good idea. I think the school is in need of it and, plus, it's putting people to work," said Danny Valdez, a parent of an LCHS student.

School district officials said the whole project should be done in about four years.

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