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Voters approve AHS athletic complex

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 7th, 2012

Alamosa Board of Education officials Erica Romero and Christine Haslett join Alamosa School District Superintendent Rob Alejo and community member Jennifer Alonzo as they wait for results at the Alamosa County Court House on Tuesday evening. Courier photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — It was close, but Alamosa voters approved the $4.9 million tax extension that will bring the high school and the community a new athletic complex and agriculture facility.

“Yes!” exclaimed Alamosa Board of Education official Erica Romero after finding out 294 votes passed the 3A ballot question. “I want to thank the community for coming out and voting. In the end, all of our hard work has paid off. I can’t wait to tell everybody, especially the Mini Moose.”

The 3,166 to 2,872 win had already reached many students late last night. Alamosa High School sophomore Nate Henry, who waited at the Alamosa County Courthouse to hear the outcome first hand, said he is looking forward to playing under Friday Night Lights before he graduates.

“I think this is awesome,” Henry said. “We should have this for the community, sports and ag students. It will stop the reckless driving to the middle school for ag classes and it will make a safer place for people coming to watch sports.”

The ballot question sought voter approval to increase existing debt with a repayment cost of $7.9 million to fund the project.

The year-round facility will include improvements such as an eight-lane track with synthetic turf; a stadium; lights to accommodate night games; and a facility for agriculture and vocational education programs, which now are housed off campus at Ortega Middle School.

Next year, the mill levy will decrease, according to a RBC Capital Markets bond summary. In 2012, taxpayers will pay 15.591 mills and in 2013 they will pay 15.290 mills. At most, a property owner will pay 15.339 mills in 2017 and the mills collected will drop to around 8.2 in 2023, the year after the complex service is paid off.

According to a GE Johnson Construction Company report, the mill levy dollars will breakdown accordingly: $3,075,000 will fund the track and field; bleachers; press box: a ticketing and concessions building; bathrooms; first aid office; an officials building and the “Walk to Glory,” a path from the school entrance to the complex. $580,000 will fund locker rooms and an athletic storage building and other dollars will be earmarked for roadwork, sports equipment and OMS facility upgrades. The vo/ag building cost is under $1 million.

Reasons supporters like AHS booster club Maroon Pride wanted to build the facility included, but were not limited to, increasing local business revenues; giving student athletes and the community a place for Friday Night Lights; giving all community members a place to recreate; providing a competition location to bring teams to the Valley, which could cut down on Alamosa travel costs; and having a quality athletic facility that could attract new residents to the area.

Additional 3A supporters included the Alamosa School Board, the Alamosa City Council and the Alamosa County Commissioners, who all approved resolutions supporting 3A.

In 2011, the district proposed a similar ballot question and it was defeated by 443 votes.

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