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November ballot includes $51 million in bond funding for NMSU projects

Release Date: 30 Sep 2022
November ballot includes $51 million in bond funding for NMSU projects

New Mexico voters will be asked on Nov. 8 to approve several general obligation bond questions on the back of their ballot, including two that will provide critical funding for the New Mexico State University system. There is no tax rate increase associated with approval of these bonds.

If approved by voters, GO Bond 3 will provide $51.1 million for construction, renovation and modernization projects across the NMSU system, including $22.5 million for engineering facilities and $15.5 million for nursing, health and education facilities at its Las Cruces campus. NMSU-Grants and Doña Ana Community College would also receive funding for campus-wide infrastructure improvements, renovations and equipment.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture, which is headquartered at NMSU’s main campus but serves the entire state of New Mexico, would receive $10.5 million to replace its outdated headquarters facility. A separate bond issue for libraries, GO Bond 2, will provide $6 million statewide for university library resources, of which the NMSU system will receive a portion.

The request before voters includes $22.5 million to replace and modernize the 50-year-old Thomas & Brown Hall on the Las Cruces campus to expand student-centric and experiential hands-on learning facilities for students from across campus. The project will foster research opportunities through multi-disciplinary lab space for student projects and faculty collaboration. The new design will also include a Learning Community designed to enhance student success.

The funding would also support needed renovations to both the Health and Social Services Building and O’Donnell Hall. These two buildings house most of the departments in the newly created College of Health, Education and Social Transformation, which includes the previously separate colleges of Education and Health and Social Services, as well as the Department of Sociology. Renovations totaling $13.5 million will help consolidate and integrate some departments that are currently housed in multiple locations and create more state-of-the-art multidisciplinary smart classrooms. The project will provide capacity for planned growth in disciplines like nursing and kinesiology.

In addition, $2 million for the expansion and modernization of the Nursing Skills and Simulation Center will directly address the nursing shortage in New Mexico. The state has a shortage of more than 6,200 registered nurses and clinical nurse specialists, and the planned renovation will establish an operating room suite to be dedicated to the nurse anesthesiologist program and free up classrooms currently being used as lab space.

A $10.5 million project for NMDA will continue a multi-phase renovation for the organization’s headquarters at NMSU. Previous phases of this project, funded by severance tax bond and general fund appropriations, are expected to be complete in April 2023. Phase 3 will include replacement of the outdated original NMDA main building with construction of a new administrative facility to address statewide needs, including space for additional regulatory, Healthy Soil Program, and Food, Farm and Hunger Initiative staff. The new building and site infrastructure improvements will meet current codes for life safety and data, electrical, and mechanical utilities.

“All of these projects represent important areas of investment for the future of New Mexico,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said. “By investing in nursing, health and educator training, voters can have a direct impact on the quality of health care and education in our region. Along with supporting cross-disciplinary learning and research opportunities in engineering and related fields, voters also have an opportunity to provide support to our agriculture industry across the entire state through NMDA.”

Early voting in New Mexico begins Oct. 11. For more information about GO Bond 3 projects throughout the NMSU system, visit gobond.nmsu.edu. For more about all of the higher education projects on GO Bond 3, which total $216 million statewide, visit bond3fornm.com

Important Dates

  • Election Day: Nov. 8
  • Absentee voting: Ballots mailed beginning Oct. 11
  • Early in-person voting (Government Center): Starts Oct. 11

NMSU Community College Projects

  • Infrastructure improvements and roof replacement at Doña Ana Community College in Doña Ana County: $1.35 million
  • Renovations, infrastructure improvements and roof replacement for Martinez Hall at NMSU-Grants campus in Cibola County: $1.25 million
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