With shovels in hand and hard hats atop their heads, district leaders, school staff, students and others tossed small amounts of soil Jan. 16 to symbolize groundbreaking for the new gymnasium at Lincoln Middle School in Rio Rancho.

In opening remarks before the groundbreaking ceremony, Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sue Cleveland recalled that the first staff meeting of the school district, which formed in 1994, was held inside the old LMS gym. The campus, along with the old gym, was built in 1983, when LMS was still part of Albuquerque Public Schools.

The new gymnasium, expected to be completed in Spring 2019, was designed by Van H. Gilbert Architects. The firm, in partnership with Ohio-based architectural firm Fanning Howey, designed the core campus, performing arts center and athletic facilities at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.