LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) - The oil and gas boom in southeastern New Mexico has drawn a lot of workers to that part of the state and the influx of workers means more kids, something one school district was not ready for.
Constant chatter is the sound of nearly 700 students crammed inside a Lovington school cafeteria. It was built to hold only 500 of them.
"It certainly creates a situation for us that we definitely have to manipulate and maneuver through," said Lovington Municipal Schools Superintendent Darin Manes.
Manes says in the past 10 years the school district has grown by more than 1,300 students, which is forcing schools to become more creative.
"We've converted teacher's lounges into classrooms," he said. "The counselor doesn't have an office anymore. The counselor at the elementary school is in a closet."
Manes says the district has welcomed nearly 200 new students this school year.
"It creates problems with getting quality instruction to kids. They get distracted easily when you put 28 of them in a classroom that's meant to hold 22," he said.
He says with the overcrowding in the elementary schools and little to no room left in the high school, he expects the problem only to get worse.
"The higher that teacher-student ratio is the more difficult it is to educate a child," Manes said.
That's why the Lovington school board approved a resolution for a $35 million bond election slated for Nov. 5.
If the voters pass it, the district will add more classrooms to every Lovington school.
"The problem of overcrowding can only be solved by adding more space," said Manes.
Lovington school officials say the second and third grade classrooms are the most overcrowded.
A touching four-minute video showing the sorrows and outpouring of support for Sandy Hook victim Emilie Parkers family has gone viral.
It is unclear if weather played a roll in a rollover on I-25 north of Albuquerque Friday morning.
The U.S. House has agreed on a national budget and now the bill’s headed to the Senate. What the budget bill’s passage could mean for New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industries.
It seems with every game this season he looks like the best player on the court. Lobos senior forward Cameron Bairstow continues to shine.
Cold temperatures await once again as the Lobos open College Cup play against Notre Dame on Friday.
High school basketball tournaments are plentiful as the holiday season approaches. Thursday the Joe Armijo Classic started at Albuquerque Academy.