More than $27 million in capital outlay projects are on the ballot for the New Mexico State University system as part of over $131 million in proposed general obligation bonds for aging buildings at universities and colleges across the state.
If approved by voters in November, $22.5 million is planned for a new visual arts facility at the Las Cruces campus to replace D.W. Williams Hall, a 78-year-old former gymnasium, which currently houses NMSU’s Department of Art and University Art Gallery. The funding is part General Obligation Bond C for higher education projects.
There is no tax increase associated with these bonds.
“Art is a major industry in New Mexico and an important academic pursuit for many students,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “The building we have now for our art program is well passed the point where it should be torn down. Voting for Bond C will allow us to better support our students and give them a safe building where they can learn.”
NMSU’s Department of Art has the seventh largest enrollment out of 26 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, enrollment is limited because of the building’s size and age.
“Our classrooms and studios can only accommodate six to 12 students and this limits our ability to maximize our credit hours,” said Enrico Pontelli, interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. “A new larger facility will help the college better meet the needs of our students.”
GO Bond C also includes a total of $5 million in infrastructure upgrades, renovations and construction for Dona Ana Community College, NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Grants.
GO Bond B, which includes $3.25 million for eligible academic libraries, is also on the ballot. The NMSU Library and all NMSU community college libraries benefit from these funds.
Absentee and early voting begins on Oct. 11. Early voting at dedicated locations runs from Saturday, Oct. 22 – Saturday, Nov. 5 with the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
General Obligation bonds come before the voters of New Mexico every two years to support projects throughout the state.
For more information on GO Bond C, visit gobond.nmsu.edu.