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A new campus entrance and academic building will greet Bernalillo High School Students when classes resume this month. 
Photo credit: —Bill Diven

New Bernalillo High ready to open

—Bill Diven

Students, staff, and faculty returning to Bernalillo High School (BHS) this month will be on the unfamiliar turf of a brand-new campus.

After demolition this summer, little remains of the old campus, parts of which dated to the 1940s. The relatively new gym still stands and is being renovated, but the career and technical education building and the cafeteria are in their last year of service before they, too, will vanish.

Elsewhere students will enter to find a new two-story state-of-the art academic building, library, and administrative offices built during the first phase of the $38 million dollar project that is transforming BHS. Faculty and staff arrive on August 11, classes begin on August 13, and formal dedication ceremonies are planned for August 21, at 10:00 a.m.

“Excellent,” Superintendent Alan Tapia said when asked how the project has gone since the groundbreaking in March 2014. “The project is on time. We have not had any change orders, which is financially fantastic.”

Tapia credited both prime contractor HB Construction and architect Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, both of Albuquerque, for the success of Phase 1 of the project.

The second phase includes the new career-tech building, a food court, black-box theater, and landscaping. Overall, the new construction totals 119,000 square feet and increases the design capacity of BHS to 930 students. Student enrollment last year was about eight hundred.

As part of the makeover, student drop-off has moved to the south side of the campus accessed off U.S. Highway 550 and Spartan Alley, while bus access has moved to the former student drop-off on the north side.

In his welcome letter to new and returning students, BHS Principal Keith Cowan touted not just the excitement of a new campus and its educational opportunities, but the smaller class sizes that can provide more individualized attention from teachers.

“No other school in the area provides opportunities in career tech like we do,” Cowan added. “The possibilities are endless with our educational partnerships. Through internships, students have received job opportunities right out of high school.”

Funding for the new school is split about evenly between a voter-approved bond issue and state appropriations.

Farrell presents a trans-Siberian train tour odyssey

On August 29, at 2:00 p.m., Placitas resident Ric Farrell will cover his month-long journey in the fall of 2014 from Bejing China by rail through Mongolia, east across Russian Siberia, through Ulan Ude, Lake Baikal, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. He will show photos and narrate, covering his tour experiences as a traveler aboard a private train guided by professional guides from modern Beijing, cultures of modern and ancient Mongolia, Soviet era development of eastern Siberian cities, cultural encounters with Russian families, the highlights of modern and Soviet era Moscow, and the highlights of culturally rich St. Petersburg. There will be questions and answers throughout the travelogue. The program is free and open to the public at the Placitas Community Library.

Sandoval County Fair offers country fun and a trip to Cuba

This week-long annual event offers events that appeal to folks of all ages. Starting at five-years old, kids and teens can enter the Junior Rodeo. If that’s not to their liking, they can raise farm animals and match their best against other participants in 4H-sponsored contests—with the prize-winning animals being auctioned for cash.

There will also be an adult rodeo, cooking, baking, quilting, and arts-and-crafts contests, plus a picnic and dancing with live music, followed by the County Fair Parade.

The 2015 Sandoval County Fair runs July 27 through August 2 at the scenic county fairgrounds in beautiful Cuba, New Mexico. Full-day passes for adults are five dollars, 12 and under get in for three dollars. The best deal, however, is a $25 dollar family pass that buys entry for the entire fair if you pre-purchase. Family pass at the gate is forty dollars.


The kiva at Jemez Historic Site—now open after extensive renovation

Twelfth annual Pueblo Independence Day—Commemorating the 1680 Pueblo Revolt

—Matthew J. Barbour, Manager, Jemez Historic Site

On August 9, the quaint and sleepy village of Jemez Springs—popularly known for its hot springs, hiking, and art galleries, comes alive with the twelfth annual Pueblo Independence Day Celebration starting with a 7:00 a.m. pilgrimage run from Jemez Pueblo Plaza to Jemez Historic Site. Visitors to this free annual free event will also enjoy traditional Native dances, dine on authentic Native food, and shop Native arts and crafts.

Three-hundred-and-thirty-five years ago on August 10 and 11, 1680, the Pueblo People of New Mexico, aided by some Apache and Navajo allies, launched a successful rebellion against Spanish colonization.

This twelfth annual Pueblo Independence Day Celebration commemorates this historic event which shaped the course of New Mexico state history. Jemez Historic Site ranger Marlon Magdalena said, “Celebrating the day pays tribute to the ancestors and shows appreciation for their sacrifices. Their brave resistance helped preserve the Pueblo way of life: our culture, our languages, and our right to one day reclaim our aboriginal lands.”

Admission is free for all New Mexico residents with I.D.

Schedule of events:

7:00 a.m.—Run begins at the Jemez Pueblo plaza. The general public is welcome to participate. Water stations will be available (thirteen-mile run).

10:00 a.m.—Invocation and welcome by Site manager Matt Barbour and Jemez Pueblo Officials

10.30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.—Enjoy traditional Native dances, dine on authentic Native food, and shop Native arts and crafts

For more information, call Jemez Historic Site at 575-829-3530 or check the web site

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