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Science building addition would enable expanded programs at NMSU Alamogordo

ALAMOGORDO - A $1.5 million addition to the Reidlinger Science Building would relieve overcrowding and allow some programs to expand at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo.


ition is part of the general obligation bond for education, known as Bond B, which will be decided by voters on Nov. 7. The bond issue is placed on the ballot by the New Mexico Legislature every two years. The 2006 cycle proposes allocating nearly $118 million for capital improvements to New Mexico higher education institutions and constitutional special schools.

"The addition would enable us to provide much more up-to-date facilities for Allied Health teaching and look at additional Allied Health programs," said Debra Teachman, interim NMSU Alamogordo campus executive officer.

Teachman said the location of the Reidlinger building - adjacent to the future Allied Health building, scheduled for construction in 2007 - makes the addition plans even more critical. The growing nursing, medical lab technician and emergency medical services programs that will be housed in the Allied Health Building depend on classrooms and labs in the Reidlinger building for many related and prerequisite classes. Having the two buildings side-by-side makes sense for the hillside Alamogordo campus, Teachman said.

The project would add about 4,500 square feet to the building, currently housing biology, chemistry, geology, physics and computer labs as well as numerous classrooms.

Also, new classroom and lab space will help meet the demand from growing enrollment in evening and weekend classes. Every classroom is used during the most popular class timeslots in the evenings - 5:30 and 7 p.m. If the Reidlinger addition is built, "we'll be able to offer more evening and weekend classes," Teachman said.

The addition also would free space in the Pro-Tech Building, allowing expansion of the popular digital media program and computer classes offered there.

Although detailed plans have not yet been completed, Teachman expects the addition will be constructed on the Scenic Drive side of the Reidlinger building, because the land there is relatively flat.

"We love our location on the hill in terms of view," Teachman said, "but in terms of building, it's a little tough."

Also, the addition wouldn't take any space now used for parking. Teachman said the addition probably would be two stories tall and similar in appearance to the existing Student Services Building.

NMSU Alamogordo recently announced that enrollment has increased in the 2006 fall semester, with 1,859 students, up from 1,804 students in the fall of 2005.
The building was named for Charles R. Reidlinger, who served as campus executive officer from 1982-1997.

General obligation bonds are a traditional method of financing educational facilities in New Mexico. The bond issues are repaid with property tax revenues. The cost will equal about 32 cents per $1,000 of the taxable value of property - down from 34 cents during the 2002 bond cycle.

Darrell J. Pehr
Sept. 21, 2006