April 19, 2013. Retrieved online April 22, 2013 from Alta LeCompte, Las Cruces Bulletin
NMSU breaks ground for $15 million Pete V. Domenici Hall
A $15 million renovation and addition will transform the aging and now vacant Hershel Zohn Theater into offices and classrooms for the College of Business Domenici Center and Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University.
The business college hosted a ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, at the site of the future Pete V. Domenici Hall.
Special features of the building will include a newly constructed atrium and an auditorium that will be created in the former theater.
Prior to the event, Garrey Carruthers, dean of the business college, said Domenici Hall was funded in part by a $10 million legacy gift Congress approved to pay tribute to Domenici when he retired from the U.S. Senate. It will contain a replica of Domenici’s Capitol Hill office.
Carruthers said $9 million of the legacy gift was set aside for the building.
“It wasn’t enough, and so I went to the Legislature about a year ago and got another $5 million,” he said. There have been subsequent gifts from private donors.
“The private donor who gave the money for the theater wanted to make sure all the audio and technology known to man would be in that theater,” he said.
At the ceremony Carruthers acknowledged the donor as Peyton Yates, an alumnus and the first College of Business Executive in Residence.
Carruthers said he believes the auditorium will be the second largest classroom on campus.
“There is a great need for larger classrooms, especially for introductory classes,” he said.
Mike Cheney, chairman of the NMSU Board of Regents, said the new building is a great opportunity to display Domenici’s work.
Manuel Pacheco, interim president of the university, credited Domenici with leadership in moving New Mexico to the forefront in the development of sustainable energy.
He said the former senator’s interest in NMSU made it possible for the university to take its rightful place in the state.
“You have a rich heritage of materials and we know it will processed in a way to do credit to you,” he assured Domenici.
“This is a great second life for a beautiful old building − a life dedicated to free enterprise,” Domenici said.
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