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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Dona Ana Community College's hopes ride on General Obligation Bond

Dona Ana Community College is one of the fastest growing institutions of higher education in New Mexico and is the second largest community college in the state. Significant enrollment growth is expected through the next decade and beyond both in response to service area growth and to new programs. As it stands now, DACC is not equipped to handle the anticipated influx of students in its current facilities.

To meet the expected growth, Ballot D on the November ballot includes $6 million for the implementation of Phase VI of the DACC East Mesa Center. The East Mesa Center will build classrooms and laboratory space that will help the college keep pace with the needs of the campus, the students and the community. Overall, Ballot D will provide about $30 million for improvement projects throughout the NMSU system.

"The new center will play a vital role in training Las Cruces' workforce with the technical skills necessary to be competitive in today's global marketplace," says Margie Huerta, DACC's president. "As it stands now, we have insufficient classrooms, laboratories and support areas to fulfill our mission. Ballot D would help us get to the next level."

The building would be located in the academic core adjacent to the preceding construction phases at the center. The facility is anticipated to be nearly 30,000 square feet and would be classroom and laboratory space primarily used for instruction. The New Mexico Higher Education Department ranked this project as its top priority, citing the need for additional facilities at DACC.

Facilities development is a key issues in DACC's Facilities Master Plan. Key parts of the plan include the following:

?Continue to seek adequate and equitable state funding for capital projects.

?Clearly communicate the long-range development strategy and capital requirements to meet expected program and enrollment growth of the college.

?Continue to develop the East Mesa campus with the potential to become the DACC central campus in the long term. Transition some programs to the East Mesa campus while maintaining the University Park campus adjacent to NMSU-Las Cruces.

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. If voters approve Ballot D, construction on Phase VI of the DACC East Mesa Center could begin as early as Spring 2009.