Ladera Del Norte Elementary School opened its doors on October 26, 1958. Hundreds of Farmington residents including the Farmington Board of Education members, Merrill Taylor, Reed Frost, Jim Tinnin, and C.O. Walker, toured Ladera and two other recently completed schools, Animas and Northeast as well as the 10 room addition to Apache. Architect Leo Wolgamood and the Sprout Construction Company superintendent were on hand to answer questions. Farmington Daily times, October 26, 1958, Page 12.
The "cottage school" was the most cost effective building design proposed. The Animas and Northeast buildings were about $6.88 a square foot but Ladera ran as high as $7.13 a square foot because of the "rough and rocky site". Masonry would have been twice that cost. Construction began August of 1958 and was completed in October that same year.
Ladera opened with 9 classrooms and 195 students. In two weeks time, there were 263 students and 102 PTA members. The PTA Chairman was Mrs. W.B. Shropshire. George Foltz was the first Ladera Principal.
The very next year Ladera added an additional 9 classrooms.
In 1946 Farmington city limits covered only 630 acres; by 1950, it expanded to 2,240-acres as the city stretched north encompassing the new forty-one house subdivision built by El Paso Natural Gas Company for workers at their San Juan River plant. Population burst from 3,637 in 1950 to the local estimate of 35,000 in 1953, as oil and gas workers flooded into Farmington. http://newmexicohistory.org/places/farmington-main-street