April 30, 2009 by Dustin Edwards Round Up
The architect for New Mexico State University discussed funding and construction updates for the NMSU Master Plan Tuesday.
Adopted in December 2006, the NMSU Master Plan unveiled a 10-year plan to implement new educational buildings and parking structures, as well as to develop a walking-distance academic core and a primary entry to campus.
The approval of the General Obligation Bond during the 2008 election granted $19 million in funding and a recent legislative session approved $5.5 million for the implementation of the Arts Complex Phase I, NMSU Architect Michael Rickenbaker said.
“We are moving ahead with Phase I’s design and construction,” Rickenbaker said, in reference to the Arts Complex, which will be located on the corner of Espina Drive and University Avenue.
The Arts Complex, an educational facility, will house a 500 seat “intimate” theater, Rickenbaker said. In an hour-long presentation, Rickenbaker highlighted the long-term plans for the university, as well as the latest developments to the Master Plan.
“It’s important that we continue public input on the master plan,” said. “This has been an exciting process that is on-going.”
Divided into several on-campus districts, the NMSU Master Plan includes plans for expansion, demolition, landscaping and renovation.
Gardner Hall is being renovated, Rickenbacker said.
“We are recycling a building,” he said, which coincides with NMSU’s current theme, the “Year of Sustainability.”
Rickenbaker discussed other long-term plans, including the Jordan Street primary entrance, in which he said he was unsure if Milton Hall would be demolished during this process.
Additionally, Rickenbaker confirmed that NMSU will not build educational facilities that fall out of a 15 minute walking radius.
According to the NMSU Master Plan, NMSU will pursue a strategy to develop within the existing academic core.
Rickenbaker said NMSU has a much more spread-out campus than the University of New Mexico.
“We have more parking than UNM has campus,” he said. “We have the most parking per capita than any other university.”
The next priority the Master Plan will undertake is the Pete V. Domenici Institute for Public Policy.
“[The institute] will be a living, nonpartisan institute in which issues of importance to the state, region and nation can be fully examined,” according to domenici.nmsu.edu.
Rickenbaker said there is $9 million in funding for this initiative, but an additional $30 million will be requested legislatively.
The new buildings will incorporate daylight windows to cut energy costs, he said.
“It is wonderful to not have to turn on the lights,” Rickenbaker said.
Additionally, Rickenbacker said trees will likely be planted along University Avenue and in parking lots for foliage and shade purposes.
“Our needs are great,” Rickenbaker said, but he added the Master Plan is an on-going effort.
For more information, visit masterplan.nmsu.edu/MasterPlanFinal.pdf.