Voters in New Mexico once again gave higher education in the State of New Mexico a stamp of approval with the passage of General Obligation (GO) Bond C. The $155 million bond that will provide funding for more than 60 projects at colleges and universities in New Mexico passed handily with 65 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.
At The University of New Mexico, GO Bond C will provide more than $51 million for 13 projects including $30 million for a new building to house UNM’s Colleges of Nursing and Population Health. Additional UNM projects include $13.2 million for Academic and Research Infrastructure for five projects and another $8.2 million for branch campus projects.
Overall, the passage of GO Bond C will provide funding for more than 60 projects at colleges and universities in New Mexico with access to the latest in training and teaching tools. Additionally, it will help create more than 1,500 new jobs in more than 20 communities throughout the state with no increase in taxes.
GO Bond B for libraries passes
New Mexico voters also passed GO Bond B for libraries by an overwhelming majority with 66 percent of voters in favor of the funding. The bond will provide $3 million each for academic and public school libraries and $500,000 for tribal libraries.
Nearly 30 academic libraries statewide, including each of UNM’s campus libraries – UNM Main, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC), UNM–Gallup, UNM Los Alamos, UNM Taos and UNM Valencia, will receive much-needed funding to support the success of college and university students in New Mexico
The funding will enable improved access to quality resources and information as well as access to many essential online resources that are even more important now as students and faculty rely on digital access during the pandemic.
“The strong support New Mexicans demonstrated for both the higher education and library bonds is a testament to the value they place on research and learning, especially during such a difficult time in our history,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes. “These bonds will allow the University for New Mexico to improve the academic infrastructure and provide access to library resources to prepare the next generation of New Mexico’s college graduates to serve our local communities and prepare them for the demands of the future.
“In particular, building a combined facility for our Colleges of Nursing and Population Health will be critical to accommodate their undergraduate enrollment increases and aid in the state’s healthcare workforce deficit. My heartfelt thanks to our citizens and the many people who made these bonds successful.”
GO Bond C Breakdown at UNM
HSC Nursing & Population Health Building
The new College of Nursing and Population Health Building project will plan, design, construct and equip a new facility to accommodate undergraduate and graduate enrollment increases for both the College of Nursing and College of Population Health and aid in the state’s healthcare workforce deficit.
The approximately 84,500 square foot building will be located at the UNM Health Sciences Albuquerque campus providing new instruction, student support spaces with departmental offices, research spaces to support graduate as well as undergraduate education, and building support space for the growing health education departments. This building will allow for program expansion so more healthcare professionals can be adequately trained to work in New Mexico.
Academic & Research Infrastructure upgrades (5 projects)
Learning Environment & Technology Support (Wi-Fi)
This project will focus on renovating and upgrading UNM’s highest priority classroom spaces. These classrooms serve from 2,500 to 3,500 students each semester.
This project will also address Wi-Fi upgrades and expansion to address the need for continuous, high-speed wireless coverage across UNM’s campus. The project takes a multi-faceted approach that includes fiber optic installation in the STEM heavy academic areas to allow connections back to other areas of campus,
Research Infrastructure Upgrades
This project will address critical facility needs for UNM’s research programs, including:
- Center for High Tech Materials (CHTM)
- Castetter Hall (Biology)
- UNM Innovation Plaza (Farris Engineering)
- Mechanical Engineering Lab
- Biology Lab Renovation
Electrical Infrastructure Renewal
This project will address critical electrical deficiencies in several campus buildings that are identified in the UNM-wide Facility Condition Assessment. Critical electrical systems to renew have been prioritized by system age, condition, and program volatility. Updated equipment and electrical services will provide reliability, reduce maintenance, and alleviate the risk of service failures for our educational and research facilities across campus.
Campus Fiber Renewal
This project will remove and replace aged inter-building optical fiber in two of the five zones on UNM’s main campus. The work includes redesigning and reducing the zone hub equipment rooms to allow for more efficient operations.
Edge Switch Equipment Refresh
This project will update network equipment closest to the user, the access layer switches on Main Campus which facilitate network connectivity within a building. Approximately 800 of 1,000 edge switches supporting main campus are 7 years beyond their useful life and will be replaced with this project.
The UNM-Gallup Center for Career Technology, Education and Innovation (CCTEI) project will renovate spaces across the UNM-Gallup campus to support programs that are relevant to the community. Programs include, but are not limited to, automotive technology, construction technology, welding technology, allied health, HVAC, mechanical industrial technology, emergency medical services and other workforce training disciplines identified as emerging and high growth industries.
The Workforce Development Career Technical Education Classroom Renovations project involves the renewal, replacement, upgrade and equipping of space dedicated to Workforce Development /Career Technical Education programs, including class labs with related STEM labs, and program support space and infrastructure to address the current workforce needs in Los Alamos. The project is designed to develop, renew, replace and upgrade existing space to be dedicated to Workforce Development /Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. The project will develop educational training facilities including class labs specifically required to meet specialized training demand from LANL, N3B, and other area employers.
The University of New Mexico’s Taos branch Klauer Campus Master planned site development includes safety and security improvements including fire and safety roadway with associated drainage and parking lot realignment & improvements. Currently, Klauer Campus houses the majority of programs and support services – students, staff and faculty – with limited parking areas and only one access and egress roadway. The project will provide additional parking adjacent to the western side of the Pueblo Hall Building, the IT services and Facilities Management offices, service vehicles, and proper access to the Astronomy class lab observation area.
This project involves campus fire and safety improvements including the renewal, replacement, and upgrade fire suppression systems and alarms with associated fire suppression infrastructure upgrades in four UNM-Valencia Campus buildings. UNM-Valencia’s Business and Technology, Administration, Physical Plant and Student Center buildings are not currently fire code compliant lacking proper sprinklers and fixtures.