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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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$2 million requested for addition to crowded College of Health and Social Services building

The Nov. 7 general obligation bond election contains a proposal that would bring NMSU $22.9 million for capital improvements. Included in that sum is $2 million for the College of Health and Social Services. The money would be used to build an extension to the college's existing building that is running out of space as enrollment in the college grows.

A large lecture hall seating at least 110 people would be the highlight of the first floor, said Jeffrey Brandon, dean of the college.

"We moved into the present building 2 ½ years ago and we have already run out of office and classroom space," Brandon said. "Our nursing program has doubled in size and we don't have a classroom large enough to hold 96 people. Limiting the classroom to 48 people at a time is inefficient."

Brandon said his college's distance education program also is growing, so he needs the additional room that would allow the main campus students to share with students in Alamogordo, Grants, Carlsbad, Farmington and Albuquerque.

The second floor of the proposed addition would be highlighted by a Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research, which would house the new Stan Fulton Endowed Chair in Health Disparities. Brandon said this individual would lead the college's effort to increase interdisciplinary and intercollegiate collaborations in health disparities research. Two suites, with about seven or eight offices in each suite, also would occupy the second floor.

Brandon said major health disparities in the Southwest include diabetes, which is growing at an alarming rate, even among children; substance abuse; sexually transmitted diseases and the increasing risk of HIV and AIDS; breast and cervical cancer which are diagnosed in their latter stages, so the prognosis is usually poor; water and air quality; delayed prenatal care; immunization; and unwanted teen pregnancies.

For a complete look at the bond issue, go to www.nmsu.edu and click on: NMSU to get more than $23 million if voters approve bond issues.

Bob Nosbisch
Oct. 12, 2006