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UNM Plans $180M in Construction Over Four Years

The work will bring new buildings and updated classrooms to the campus.

Fri September 16, 2016 - West Edition #19
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The most expensive project calls for the destruction of a decades-old water reservoir that will be replaced with a building that will house astronomy, physics and other science programs.
The most expensive project calls for the destruction of a decades-old water reservoir that will be replaced with a building that will house astronomy, physics and other science programs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) The University of New Mexico is planning $180 million in construction projects on campus over the next four years, including a proposed building that has been described as “a new public face” for the university.

It's planning six new projects over the next four years that will bring new buildings and updated classrooms to the campus, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

The most expensive project calls for the destruction of a decades-old water reservoir that will be replaced with a building that will house astronomy, physics and other science programs. In total the new science facility will cost $66 million. University architect Amy Coburn has said the planned building will come to redefine the campus.

Funding for that project comes from severance tax bonds, UNM institutional bonds and a general obligation bond awaiting voter approval.

Another project is renovation of what's arguably the most walked-on area of campus, the Smith Plaza outside the library. Program planning officer Tabia Murray Allred said the plaza is showing the wear and tear of hundreds of thousands walking across it and needs repairs. That project will cost $4 million and will be paid for with an institutional bond.

“Smith Plaza is right in the middle of our campus and needs to also be the heart of campus,” Bob Frank, president of UNM said. “I envision it as a gathering space or common area for students, faculty, staff and visitors to enjoy. It needs to be updated, not only to make it more accessible and inviting, but also to make it more functional and fun.”

Other renovations include a $35 million expansion to Johnson Gym, which is a recreation center, updates to the Farris Engineering Center, a new health education building and replacing the Anderson School of Management building. The Anderson project will be funded through $24 million from private donors and institutional bonds.


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