UNM seeks to fund numerous projects with passage of GO Bond C

Every two years, New Mexicans have the opportunity to take to the voting booth and approve funding that goes towards higher education through General Obligation Bonds. This year, the ballot will feature GO Bond C for Higher Education to help provide New Mexico’s colleges, universities, and specialty schools with the ability to ensure students have the tools and resources to be successful.

GO Bond C will provide more than $155 million in higher education funding, including $51,400,000 for The University of New Mexico and its branch campuses, with no increase in taxes. The passing of GO Bond C will not only provide more than 33 colleges and universities with access to the latest in training and teaching tools but will also add more than 1,500 new jobs in 23 communities throughout the state.

If passed in November, GO Bond C will fund seven projects amongst UNM’s north campus, main campus and branch campuses.

HSC Nursing and Population Health Building ($30 million)

The new College of Nursing and Population Health Building project will plan, design, construct and equip a new facility to accommodate undergraduate enrollment increases for the College of Nursing and College of Population Health and aid in the state’s healthcare workforce deficit.

The 84,500 gross 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.

To meet UNM Strategic Initiatives, this building will provide space to accommodate undergraduate enrollment increases for the College of Nursing and the College of Population Health. It will also support modest increases for graduate programs, faculty positions, and research.

The conjoined Center will provide efficient shared space geared toward collaboration, shared services, and the creation of combined degrees to meet workforce demands. The program anticipates 60 percent of the facility will be shared between the College of Nursing and the College of Population Health. This building will allow for nursing and population health to house everything in one central location instead of spreading throughout campus. It will also free up space in the current nursing and pharmacy building so that pharmacy can consolidate its program in one place. Temporary lab space for the College of Pharmacy will be created from this project and will accommodate a new BS in pharmaceutical sciences.

“The new College of Nursing and College of Population Health building is vital to educating highly qualified nurses and increasing the healthcare workforce in New Mexico,” said UNM College of Nursing Dean Christine Kasper. “The building will provide the space necessary to increase enrollment and graduate additional nurses as well as provide a platform for innovative education methods that strengthen our student’s knowledge base via an interactive education that encourages collaboration and improves patient outcomes for our great state.”

Academic & Research Infrastructure Upgrades ($13.2 million – five projects)

The Academic & Research Infrastructure Upgrades will be divvied up into five different projects including Learning Environment & Technology Support; Research Infrastructure Upgrades; Electrical Infrastructure Renewal; Campus Fiber Renewal; and Edge Switch Equipment Refresh. These projects will renew and upgrade critical campus-wide academic and research infrastructure on UNM’s main campus. These campus-wide infrastructure projects were developed due to the critical need for long-term neglected facility and infrastructure renewal and improvements.

“Part of Bond C is really dealing with the academic and research infrastructure,” said Chief Information Officer Duane Arruti in the Office of the CIO. “These are really important initiatives to help to ensure that we have the underlying infrastructure to really help support our campus community.”

The Learning Environment & Technology Support Project ($3.2 million) focuses on renovating high priority classrooms and addressing 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 focuses on upgrading more than 1,500 existing wireless access points that allow strong connections to each corner of campus. This Wi-Fi improvement will also add robust Wi-Fi coverage to 20 existing learning spaces that have limited coverage.

The Research Infrastructure Upgrades Project ($2 million) will address critical facility needs for UNM’s research programs. This includes five separate areas: The Center for High Tech Materials (CHTM), Castetter Hall Cage Wash Facility, UNM Innovation Plaza, Mechanical Engineering Lab, and the Biology Lab. All five areas will focus on increasing research capabilities and effectiveness in STEM areas.

“This bond is very important to us because it will allow us to do cutting edge research in the years to come,” said CHTM Director Arash Mafi. “CHTM is a very good guardian of the state’s money. For every dollar we have received so far, we have given at least $2 back to the local economy.”

The Electrical Infrastructure Renewal Project ($2 million) will address the critical electrical deficiencies in several campus buildings that are identified in the UNM-wide Facility Condition Assessment. Prioritized by system age, condition, and program volatility, the most critical electrical systems will be renewed to provide reliability, reduce maintenance and alleviate the risk of service failures for educational and research facilities across campus.

The Campus Fiber Renewal Project ($2.5 million) 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.

The Edge Switch Equipment Refresh Project ($3.5 million) will update network equipment that facilitates network connectivity within a building. Approximately 800 to 1,000 edge switches supporting main campus are seven years beyond their useful life and will be replaced with this project.

Branch Campus projects

Gallup Branch: Center for Career Technology Education and Innovation ($3 million)

The UNM-Gallup Center for Career Technology, Education, and innovation 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 Center for Career Technology Education and Innovation project classrooms and class lab buildings will provide new training facilities for career and technical education programs. The current CCTE facilities are inadequate in both size and functionality.

Taos Branch Safety and Security Improvements ($2 million)

The UNM Taos Branch Klauer Campus Master-planned site development includes fire and safety roadway with associated drainage and parking lot realignment and improvements. Currently, the conditions of the existing south parking areas require extensive repairs, lighting, and security cameras. The pedestrian and accessible access in this area must be improved with safe crosswalks, adequate accessible ramps, and well-designed sidewalks. All improvements are designed to increase protection to students and facilities in the event of fire, security threats, and other natural or manmade disasters.

Los Alamos Branch: WorkForce Development Career Technical Education Classroom Renovations ($1.7 million)

This project will renew, replace, upgrade and equip 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.

Class labs and support space will be designed and developed as training facilities for key programs related to the mission of the Los Alamos National Lab and related organizations including programs relate to the plutonium initiates and the related organizations including programs related to the plutonium initiates and for the radiation control technician programs. UNM Los Alamos will re-purpose training rooms to provide hands-on training for LANL and other key employers.

Valencia Branch: campus Fire Safety Improvements ($1.5 million)

The project will renew, replace, 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. The building requires updated fire suppression infrastructure, water supplies, and alarm systems to meet current safety and fire codes.

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