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DACC expanding with Hatch Center

Date: 05/10/2011

Dona Ana Community College will be "Hatch-ing" a new building soon.

Architect's rendering of DACC Hatch Center (NMSU image)

The DACC Hatch Center project began in 2009, with the first step development of an environmental assessment report for the land-acquisition system plan, completed by Byron Kesner, environmental scientist at HDR Engineering Incorporated in Albuquerque.

With the preliminary work out of the way, the official groundbreaking ceremony for the project will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, at 219 Hill St., Hatch, N.M. The event is free and open to the public.

Joe J. Payyapilly, a senior project design executive with New Mexico State University's Office of Facilities and Services' Project Development Office, serves as the project's champion, advocating for the new satellite campus in Hatch, while ASA Architects is the consulting architect firm, with Ken Gutierrez and Brenda Quintana on the project design team.

"I give every project need a listening, and if it's physically and humanly possible for me to accommodate myself into the requested projects, I give them wholly my dedicated support," Payyapilly said. "The DACC Hatch Center groundbreaking will be a major milestone for New Mexico State University and the Hatch community. NMSU's land-grant mission states that the university must be responsive to New Mexico communities, and that is exactly what our new DACC Hatch Center is about, being a responsive and accessible learning center that will provide educational opportunities to a diverse community, in support of workforce development."

The 6,791 square-foot facility will house classroom space, a computer lab and learning center, a laboratory and shop and office space for faculty. The project, expected to cost around $2.5 million, is scheduled for completion within nine months, and is expected to be user-ready in February 2012.

"We would expect to have access to the building and classroom spaces that we need by early- to mid-Spring 2012," Payyapilly said. "It's absolutely critical for us to remain vigilant on the construction schedule as we continue to move forward into the construction phase."

The project in part was inspired by the Hatch flood of 2006, which devastated the community. The site, while relatively flat, is below existing surrounding paved roadways, and because of high water tables in Hatch and required drainage control on site, the building pad will be elevated above existing roadways. The location and size of ponding areas will be incorporated to accommodate this phase of the work as well as future phases. FEMA currently labels the area "Zone A," which means it is in a special flood hazard area with no base flood elevations determined.

As is the case with most of NMSU's current construction, the Hatch Center aims to be a LEED-certified building. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, that provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. LEED certification provides a third-party, independent verification that a building meets the highest green building measures.

"The university has an agreement with 3Degrees Group, based in San Francisco, for a renewable energy purchase period on this project through the end of 2012," Payyapilly said. "We expect the center to be certified under version 3.0 of LEED's New Construction standards. The project is registered with the USGBC, and we are targeting the LEED Silver achievement rating."

Payyapilly also noted that the project will comply with New Mexico Executive Order 2006-01, in which former Gov. Bill Richardson declared that the state adopt specific standards to implement and facilitate the use of high-performance, energy-efficient "green" building practices for all state-funded existing and new buildings throughout the state. This includes ensuring the building achieves a minimum delivered energy performance standard of one-half the U.S. energy consumption for other similar structures, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy. It also will comply with current building energy efficiency standards set forth by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

Written by Mark Cramer.

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