WRITER: Minerva Baumann
More than $31 million in capital outlay projects will be on the ballot for the New Mexico State University system as part of over $128 million in proposed general obligation bonds for aging buildings at universities and colleges across the state. The funding is part of the General Obligation Bond D for higher education projects.
There is no tax increase associated with these bonds.
If approved by voters in November, $25 million is planned for the modernization of agricultural modernization and educational facilities at the Las Cruces campus. Renovation and modernization is planned for the Food Science Security and Safety Facility, the Biomedical Research Center, and the Animal Nutrition and Feed Manufacturing Facility.
“These are not just investments in our critical infrastructure, these are investments in our students and the future of New Mexico,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “In addition to providing a world-class education to our students, NMSU partners with industry, government agencies and the community to conduct vital research and train the workforce of tomorrow. Passage of this year’s GO Bond will allow us to continue this vital work.”
Agriculture and food processing are an important part of New Mexico’s economy, accounting for about $4 billion in sales. NMSU is poised to be an international leader in food protection initiatives to promote food safety in New Mexico and the region. The Food Science Security and Safety Laboratory supports teaching in the processing of locally produced agricultural products resulting in economic gain for New Mexico producers and allied industries. The Biomedical Research Center includes accommodations for researchers and students in diverse fields across NMSU.
Additional benefits include enhanced safety for students and employees as well as encouraging student involvement in research.
“By supporting the GO Bond D in November’s election, voters will be increasing educational opportunities and contributing to economic growth, thus improving the lives of New Mexicans,” said Rolando A. Flores, dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “These modern facilities will lift NMSU, New Mexico’s agriculture and related industries, to higher levels because they will provide faculty and students with better tools and technology.”
The GO Bond D for higher education also includes a total of $6.2 million in infrastructure upgrades, renovations and construction for Dona Ana Community College, NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Grants.
The GO Bond for libraries, which includes more than $12 million for eligible academic libraries, is also on the ballot. The NMSU Library and all NMSU community college libraries benefit from these funds.
The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Early voting begins on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the county courthouse, with convenience centers opening Saturday, Oct. 20 and the election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. General Obligation bonds come before the voters of New Mexico every two years to support projects throughout the state.
For more information on the GO Bond, visit gobond.nmsu.edu.