New Mexico State University will celebrate the modernization of its agricultural district with a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase its Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities project, approved by New Mexico voters through general obligation bonds in 2018. The ceremony will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at the corner of Knox and Stewart streets, on the west side of the Las Cruces campus.
A livestream of the event will be available those who are unable attend the ceremony.
“This marks an exciting milestone for NMSU and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,” said ACES Dean Rolando Flores Galarza, “as well as for New Mexico’s agriculture industry. The growth in research, outreach and service that will be made possible by these new facilities will benefit all New Mexicans.”
Construction work on the two-phase project got underway in June, and includes the construction and modernization of facilities that support human health and biomedical research, student learning and public outreach, and food security and animal production efficiency.
The NMSU Las Cruces campus is unique among American collegiate campuses in that its agricultural district, which is approximately 164 acres in size, is adjacent to the campus core. The last major facility added to the agricultural district was Skeen Hall, constructed in 1999 as the Center for Sustainable Development of Arid Lands.
“Much of the ag district, including the campus livestock, education, and research center, consists of older, underused facilities,” said University Architect Heather Watenpaugh. “The conditions and use of those older facilities no longer align with the needs of the College of ACES or the academic advancement trajectory of NMSU in general.”
Modernization of the learning environments in NMSU’s ag district will help create an agricultural workforce that can advance the industry in New Mexico and help New Mexico’s economy grow, Flores Galarza said.
Visually, Watenpaugh said, the design will celebrate the Aggie heritage at NMSU and will reflect the architectural style seen in the academic core, in order to link the look and feel of the agricultural district more strongly with the rest of the campus.
Phase 1 of the project, funded by the 2018 GO bond, was designed by Fanning Bard Tatum Architects and is being constructed by GenCon General Contractors Corp. Completion of Phase 1 is expected in June 2022. The selection process for a design team for the Ag Modernization project’s second phase, supported by 2020 GO bond funds, is currently underway. Construction is expected to begin in June 2022 and be completed the following June.
Parking for the groundbreaking ceremony is available in Lot 3, on Knox Street west of Skeen Hall; Lot 103, at the southwest corner of Knox Street and College Drive; and Lot 104 on Sam Steel Way. Free visitor parking passes may be printed at https://park.nmsu.edu/visitor/.
For more information on the Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities project, visit gobond.nmsu.edu.