DALLAS - New Mexico's Carlsbad Municipal School District will ask voters to approve $60 million of bonds in a February election.

The bonds would finance four elementary schools, along with improvements to current facilities.

If approved, the district would issue $30 million in 2014 and a second $30 million in 2016. Officials say the cost to update the buildings for current needs, which include wiring for technology, would be significantly more than the cost of new construction.

Carlsbad school trustees postponed a bond election in 2012 but voted last month to hold the election in 2014.

With 5,932 students, the district includes the town of Carlsbad, county seat of Eddy County on the border of Texas.

The district had about $15 million of outstanding debt after a 2011 issue of $7 million, according to Moody's Investors Service, which rates the district Aa3. With the state school bond enhancement, the rating rises two notches to Aa1.

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