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It’s been 20 years since the doors opened on a new high school in Albuquerque, and that stretch is coming to an end. That was the headline on Kob-TV's website about the first high school to be built in Albuquerque in 20 years. That school, Volcano Vista High School, was built on the NW mesa of Albuquerque and will open to freshman only this fall as the school is set for total completion next year.

Now I have always been very critical of APS (Albuquerque Public Schools) for not building any new high schools in over 20 years. The last high school that was built before Volcano Vista was La Cueva High School which opened in 1986 (which might I add was only 2 years after I was born and I will be 23 this month).

Also it is not like we have not been growing or anything. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, between 1986 and 2006 (the last year there is data for), Albuquerque has grown by over 250,000 people. So we have grown by one quarter of a million people (at least 1/3 of our current population) and not one single new high school built? WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT.

In one of my planning classes a few years back, the head of planning for APS came in to give us a presentation about their planning and all that other stuff. So when it came time for a Q&A session, I asked him why APS had not built a new high school since La Cueva? His response was that "APS was right where they thought they would be. Being that I went to Cibola High School (the districts most over crowded school with over 2500 students when I went there, and now almost 3500 students) I was pissed off with this answer and let him have it. I asked him "So, APS was expecting to be to a point where most of their schools were severely overcrowded?". He had no answer to my question, and very quickly changed the subject. Meanwhile, my planning instructor was over in the corner trying not to laugh too loud that I was ripping the head of APS planning a new ass hole.

Now some people tell me when I bring this subject up, "There too has been a new high school, Rio Rancho has built a few high schools in the past 10 years". Well, I do not consider Rio Rancho to be part of this equation. APS got very lucky that Rio Rancho split off, and formed their own school district back in 1997. Had Rio Rancho not spilt off, APS would have even more students then they do now, and things would be much worse off then they were.

So now here we sit 20 years later, with the first new school opening and at least 2 more set to open in the next 1 to 5 years. All I am going to say is "ABOUT DAMN TIME". Now maybe students in APS will have a freaking chance at getting something that might resemble a education.

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Kevin Murray

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