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NMSU hosts ribbon cutting ceremony at newly renovated weight training center

New Mexico State University?s Coca-Cola Weight Training Center saw a major transformation this summer, thanks to a substantial gift from Mesilla Valley Transportation, as well as other donors. NMSU held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially unveil the facility before the NMSU-UNM football game Sept. 20.

A photo of Garrey Carruthers, Royal Jones and Don Decker touring a weight room.
NMSU President Garrey Carruthers and Mesilla Valley Transportation President and CEO Royal Jones tour to the newly renovated Coca-Cola Weight Training Center with Don Decker, director of sports performance. (NMSU photo by Charlotte Tallman)

?This is a transformational gift that greatly benefits our student athletes,? said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. ?Mesilla Valley Transportation is an important partner for us and their gift helps take this facility, and our athletics program, to the next level.?

The gift funded a complete renovation of the 22-year-old Coca-Cola Weight Training Center, providing updated weight training equipment and new, state-of-the-art video equipment at each workout station. NMSU is currently the only school in the nation to have 24 stations with this video technology, which allows athletes to review their workout to ensure they are using proper form. Fewer than a dozen schools have the video technology at all.

?We believe in New Mexico State University and what they are trying to build,? said Royal Jones, president and CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation. ?Our business gets a lot of good people from NMSU and we want to do anything we can to give back. We know athletic programs can help universities earn a lot of recognition and upgrading this facility can help in recruiting athletes to the school and improve their performance on the field.?

Built in 1992, NMSU?s weight-training center is located in the Aggie Memorial Stadium complex. The 13,500-square-foot facility benefits NMSU student athletes in 17 athletic programs. It became a reality thanks to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Las Cruces, which funded construction as well as the facility?s original weightlifting equipment and exercise machines. Additional weight and aerobic equipment was added to the facility in 1998.

?We are very excited, as a department we received this gift for the specific purpose of upgrading our weight room, which will help our strength and conditioning coaches to better serve our student athletes,? said NMSU Athletic Director McKinley Boston. ?We are very thankful to Royal Jones, and Mesilla Valley Transportation, for helping our student athletes achieve their competitive potential.?

Mesilla Valley Transportation, based in both Las Cruces and El Paso, began in 1981. The company saw tremendous growth in the 1990s and today is recognized as one of the largest locally owned, full-service truckload transportation providers in the Southwest. MVT also has several affiliate companies, including J.H. Rose Logistics, Border International, Mesilla Valley Training Institute, R Leasing, El Paso Speedway Park, the Southern New Mexico Speedway and Verde Logistics, LLC.

?With this gift, Royal Jones and his team are making a huge play for every athlete on this campus, and those to come,? said Don Decker, director of sports performance at NMSU. ?It gives our student athletes a chance to make plays in their respective sports, and it will help them fulfill their hopes and dreams. I appreciate Royal Jones? heart for giving people a chance to succeed and this gift is an example of that.?

The renovation began following the conclusion of the spring semester, and was completed in time for the fall athletic season.