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New Mexico State University

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NMSU receives Getty Foundation funding for historic preservation plan

As part of an update to its master plan, New Mexico State University will develop a Historic Preservation Plan with a $175,000 Campus Heritage Grant from the Getty Foundation, the philanthropic division of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.


oric preservation plan provides a means to preserve buildings or sites of outstanding architectural, historical and cultural significance," said Rebecca Sellars, director of corporate and foundation relations for NMSU's Development Office. "The Getty funding will be used in planning the initial development of an overall architectural conservation plan for all NMSU properties, statewide, beginning with the Las Cruces campus."

The plan is designed to involve NMSU faculty, students and staff. It will provide a survey of historic buildings and landscapes owned by the university with an explanation of their historic features and a process for maintaining, restoring and changing the university without compromising its historical value. Workshops and training sessions will assist NMSU maintenance and construction staff who work on historic properties.

"It's important to preserve some of the physical reminders of our past because they connect us with those who came before us," said Greg Walke, project manager of the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction at NMSU. "A historic preservation plan will keep us connected to the strong design traditions of our unique history and will help maintain elements of planning and design that will enrich the campus as it grows."

The plan also will involve students in NMSU's Public History Program. "As an education tool, the plan provides a framework for students to connect with the history of this institution and with larger historic patterns in education, construction, architecture and planning," Walke said.

History faculty will design the curriculum and present coursework in spring and fall 2006. Upon completion of a historic preservation course, students will assist with the survey of historic structures, including field measurements, historic and archival research and architectural photography.

NMSU President Michael Martin said funds from the Getty Foundation will provide the support needed to complete the master plan and take it to the next level. "I view this project as a means of helping obtain a significant goal for the university - to fully establish NMSU as one unified system," he said.

The Getty Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic supporters of visual arts in the country, has presented more than $1.5 million to 10 new 2005 Campus Heritage Grant recipients. Since 2002, the Getty has awarded more than 60 grants to colleges and universities in a nationwide effort to preserve historic buildings, sites and landscapes.

"We're proud to be among them," Sellars said.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international, cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Foundation. The Getty Trust and the Getty programs are located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Additional information is available on the Getty Web site at www.getty.edu.