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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU sees growth in enrollment, funding, facilities

With more students in classrooms, more funding on the way and more building projects on the horizon, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents focused on growth during their meeting Tuesday.

The university attracted its largest freshman class in history this fall, bringing the Las Cruces campus enrollment to 16,726. Jennifer Taylor, senior vice president for Business and Finance, said that enrollment growth last academic year will mean an additional $3.9 million in funding for the university's Las Cruces campus in FY 2008-09 through the state's appropriation funding formula.

New Mexico Highlands University is the only other four-year university to also receive a boost in funding based on 2006-2007 enrollments, while the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, Eastern New Mexico University and Northern New Mexico College saw no change in funding. A drop in enrollment at Western New Mexico University will result in a drop in funding. In community colleges across the state, NMSU's Dona Ana Community College will receive an additional $1.2 million; only four other community colleges in the state, including NMSU-Grants, will receive an enrollment-based funding increase in FY 2008-2009.

NMSU President Michael Martin said the increase in enrollment this year was the result of hard work among many NMSU employees.

"We found the people who knew how to do this," Martin said. "It's a team effort."

Regents approved construction projects at the Alamogordo and Dona Ana Community College campuses. In Alamogordo, $4.8 million will go toward a 16,000-square-foot health sciences center addition to the Reidlinger science building. The new building will house the nursing lab, medical laboratory technician lab, classrooms, student support space and offices.

Michael Rickenbaker, NMSU's director of facilities planning and construction, said the building will be the first NMSU building to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification. NMSU Alamogordo Campus Executive Officer Cheri Jimeno said the building will be a tremendous asset for the existing nursing and health sciences programs in Alamogordo. She said the project will go out to bid around January 2008, and be ready for classes around the fall of 2009.

Regents also approved a $3 million renovation of the Trades Center Building at Dona Ana Community College. The renovation will create more space for existing programs, such as automotive, welding and HVAC shops, and bring the building up to current safety and building codes.