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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Bond Issue B includes about $9 million for NMSU campuses

New Mexico State University's main and branch campuses will receive about $9 million for new buildings and renovation projects if voters approve Bond Issue B on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

The NMSU projects include renovation of historic Goddard Hall on the main campus in Las Cruces, completion of an allied health building at the Dona Ana Branch Community College, and completion of a multi-purpose building at NMSU-Alamogordo.

Statewide, the educational bond issue would provide $72.9 million for school improvements -- $62.9 million for universities, colleges and technical schools and $10 million for public school districts.

Bond Issue B would add $1.5 million to the funds already raised for the restoration of Goddard Hall, which is expected to cost more than $5 million. Designed by noted Southwestern architect Henry Trost just after the turn of the century, Goddard Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to exterior repairs, the renovation project will replace the electrical and mechanical systems and result in new classrooms, laboratories, seminar rooms and offices for the NMSU College of Engineering. The project has attracted a $1.3 million matching grant from the National Science Foundation, $1 million in severance tax revenues from the state Legislature and more than $1 million in private and corporate donations.

"This is the culmination of a 10-year effort to raise funds necessary for renovation of this historic building," said NMSU Dean of Engineering Derald Morgan. "Passage of the bond issue will provide the final piece of the pie that is needed to begin the project."

Phase II of the DABCC Health and Public Services Building will add laboratories and classrooms for the training of nurses, radiologic technicians, emergency medical service paramedics, respiratory care therapists and other allied health personnel. Bond Issue B includes $2.2 million for this project.

NMSU-Alamogordo would receive $2 million from the bond issue for Phase II of its Multi-Purpose Building, which also serves as a community facility. The project would add a child care center, community education classrooms, general classrooms and athletic facilities.

Bond Issue B also includes $1 million for improvements to the baseball and softball facilities on NMSU's main campus and $50,000 for planning a unique College/Community Library Center at NMSU-Grants.

The baseball/softball project would add public restrooms, expand locker rooms and seating areas, and make the facilities more accessible.

The concept for the library center in Grants provides for a common facility for the Grants City Library and the NMSU-Grants Library, which would maintain separate collections but share check-out services.

In addition, the main and branch campuses would receive about $2 million in bond funds for renovating buildings, upgrading utilities and making facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. KRWG-TV would share in a $1 million allocation to help the state's three educational television stations replace obsolete equipment.

General obligation bond issues are a traditional method of financing educational facilities in New Mexico. Bond debts are repaid with property tax revenues. If Bond Issue B is approved, the state Department of Finance and Administration estimates that the state general obligation bond mill levy would increase by about 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That would average less than $1 a month for a $100,000 house with a taxable value of $33,000.

Co-chairing the Dona Ana County G.O. Bonds for Education Committee are Karen Salazar, senior vice president of Matrix Capital Bank, and Thomas Gale, dean emeritus of the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. In Otero County, the chairman is R.B. Holmes, president of Norwest Bank Alamogordo.