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Ag modernization continues at NMSU


The first phase of New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities project is underway on the university’s Las Cruces campus.

Construction is funded by $43 million in general obligation bonds passed by New Mexico voters in 2018 ($25 million) and 2020 ($18 million).

Ground was broken in August 2021, as construction began at the corner of Knox and Stewart streets on the west side of NMSU’s Las Cruces campus.

Construction of the two-phase project began in June and includes building and modernizing facilities that support human health and biomedical research, student learning and public outreach and food security and animal production efficiency, NMSU said.

“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,” NMSU said in a news release. “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 Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) or the academic advancement trajectory of NMSU in general.”

Modernization of 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, said ACES Dean Rolando Flores Galarza.

Much of the current ag district, the campus livestock, education and research center, consists of dilapidated and disused facilities whose conditions and use do not align with the needs of the College of ACES or the academic advancement trajectory of NMSU in general Flores said.

November’s GO Bond C could bring more changes to Aggie campus

Project summaries are from gobond.nmsu.edu

There are three general obligation bond questions on the statewide November ballot, including Bond C, which would allocate more than $215 million to higher education, special school and tribal school capital improvement and acquisition projects. If it passes, New Mexico State University will get more than $50 million of that total.

Here are the projects NMSU will fund if Bond C is passed by New Mexico voters:

  • Thomas and Brown Hall replacement: The 50-year-old Thomas and Brown Hall, 1305 Frenger St. on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces, will be replaced and modernized to expand hands-on learning facilities for students and multi-disciplinary lab space for students and faculty, and will include a learning community designed to enhance student success. ($22.5 million)
  • Health and Social Services building and O’Donnell Hall renovations: These two buildings house most of the departments in NMSU’s newly created College of Health, Education and Social Transformation. Renovations will consolidate and integrate some departments that are currently housed in multiple locations and create more state-of-the-art multidisciplinary smart classrooms and provide capacity for planned growth in disciplines like nursing and kinesiology. ($13.5 million)
  • Nursing Skills and Simulation Center expansion: The expansion and modernization will address the statewide shortage of more than 6,200 registered nurses and clinical nurse specialists, NMSU said. The 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. ($2 million)
  • New Mexico Department of Agriculture renovation, phase 3: NMDA is headquartered at NMSU in Las Cruces and serves the entire state. Previous phases of the project, funded by severance tax bond and general fund appropriations, are expected to be complete in April 2023. Phase 3 includes replacement of the outdated original NMDA main building, with construction of a new administrative facility to provide space for additional staff. ($10.5 million)

Other projects: Infrastructure improvements and roof replacement at Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces ($1.35 million), and renovations, infrastructure improvements and roof replacement for Martinez Hall at the NMSU-Grants campus ($1.25 million) are also included.

NMSU Construction