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Construction of the “Gateway to NMSU,” a large-scale construction project on the east side of New Mexico State University’s Las Cruces campus, is set to begin in approximately 12 months. The monument, coinciding with the massive Interstate 25/University Avenue reconstruction project, is designed to welcome students, employees and visitors to campus.
“This presents a fantastic opportunity for us to plan, design and construct monumental signage inside the new roundabout, which will welcome everyone to our campus,” NMSU President John Floros said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to make ourselves more accessible to the Las Cruces community and we believe this project will encourage more visitors and help inspire a sense of pride in what we do.”
University planners developed two possible designs for consideration: “NMSU Bold,” which is consistent with other stone and metal signage around campus, and “Aggie Gates,” based on the original entry gates to the university. NMSU conducted a 10-day survey soliciting feedback for designs, which was sent to the NMSU campus community. After some initial feedback, the survey was modified to accept a broader array of responses and was extended for an additional nine days for submissions. In the end, more than 4,100 responses were gathered, with more than two-thirds of responses coming from NMSU students. More than half of those responding preferred the “Combined NMSU Bold and Aggie Gates” option.
“For a project of this size, scope and importance, a great number of university stakeholders must be consulted, and that’s why we have engaged so many individuals,” Floros said. “We were pleased with the number of responses we received throughout this entire two-year planning process and we worked to incorporate as many of the suggestions as we could.”
The project has been reviewed and approved by NMSU’s Campus Planning Committee, Regents Real Estate Committee and the NMSU Board of Regents. It must still go before the New Mexico Higher Education Department and the State Board of Finance.
Total cost for the project is approximately $1.1 million, which will be paid for by the sale of land for the I-25/University Avenue construction project and additional funding which can only be used for capital improvements and projects of this kind. Construction for the project cannot begin until the I-25/University Avenue project is completed, tentatively scheduled for September 2021.