The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

New Parkview ready to be unveiled

 

August 2, 2018

Jamie Cushman

The front of the new Parkview school is one of several aspects of the new building that's considerably larger than its counterpart at the original Parkview.

CLOVIS - The most recent addition to the Clovis school district will be unveiled to the public for the first time at next week's ribbon cutting for Parkview Elementary.

"(It's) definitely a different environment, so much space and everything is brand new," Principal Wayne Marshall said of the new building. "It's kind of like that new car that you're afraid you're going to get a scratch on."

A by-the-numbers comparison of the two buildings shows just how much more space there will be in the new Parkview.

Deputy Superintendent of Operations Carrie Bunce said the original Parkview started at 14,541 square feet in 1952 and four additions to the building increased the size to 38,258 square feet.

Compare that to the new building, which will be opening at 63,272 square feet.

"We've almost doubled our space which in some ways that's really neat but in some ways it's a long walk," Marshall said. "It's like a half a mile if you walk from kindergarten to fifth grade. It's probably not really a half a mile, but it's a long distance."

The old Parkview boasted nine portable buildings to account for student overflow, but Bunce said they won't be needed at the new building. There would be space for the portables - the new school site is more than three times the original at 10 acres compared to 3.81 acres.

Bunce said the new building cost $14 million, of which the district was responsible for 25 percent, utilizing bond money approved by voters, and the remaining 75 percent was paid by the state.

The original Parkview is one of the oldest buildings in the district. Parkview opened in 1952, the same year as Lincoln Jackson. The only older schools are Marshall Middle School, which opened in 1931, and Highland Elementary, which opened the year before Parkview in 1951.

According to school board minutes from 1949, the original land for Parkview was purchased from J. Simpson for $400. Board records show additional land was bought later.

Bunce herself attended the original Parkview, as did Superintendent Jody Balch.

"It's kind of funny that both of us went all of our elementary years at Parkview and we're both in these positions. Kind of cool," Bunce said.

With its expanded classrooms and gymnasium, improved security and new playground equipment, the building Clovis students will utilize starting Aug. 13 is a far cry from the school Balch attended.

"Parkview when I attended was really a very simple building," Balch said. "It was just a horseshoe shape with the original few classrooms."

Balch said he recalled a large playground at the school that was the site for daily neighborhood baseball games.

Marshall said some elements of the old building, including some of the artwork, were moved to the new Parkview.

The original school is now in its final year of operation as it will play host to students and staff from Highland Elementary as construction continues on their new school, scheduled to be ready for the 2019-20 school year.

Bunch said around this time next year Parkview will be demolished.

The ribbon cutting for the new Parkview is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday at the new building, 2501 W. 14th Street. Marshall said there will be a ceremony with members of the school board and Parkview teachers and following the ribbon cutting the doors will be opened for the public to check out the new school.

Marshall said he is excited to see what his students think of the new building.

"They're just going to walk in (and say) 'wow.' They're not even going to know how to act," Marshall said.

Balch said when the new James Bickley school opened in 2015 the district saw increased academic success due to the new building and the improved atmosphere and attitude it created and he expects the same to be true at the new Parkview.

 

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