April 12, 2013 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center
Earlier today, New Mexico State University held a ceremony to officially break ground on a construction project that will transform the Hershel Zohn Theater into Pete V. Domenici Hall. Construction work will begin later this month and conclude in fall 2014.
“This is an exciting day,” said Garrey Carruthers, dean of NMSU’s College of Business and director of the Domenici Institute. “Senator Domenici has meant so much to the state of New Mexico and its citizens. Once this project is complete, it will carry on his legacy and provide a home for various programs championed by the senator during his time in office.”
Once the building is finished, it will house NMSU’s Domenici Institute for Public Policy and portions of the Arrowhead Center. As the third College of Business building, it will also add classroom and office space for graduate students and faculty members.
NMSU’s Domenici Institute for Public Policy was founded in 2008. It hosts a yearly public policy conference, various public policy forums and sponsors public policy research projects. Its goal is to engage the general public and encourage them to discuss and take part in issues of public interest, specifically when it comes to important policy matters.
The large auditorium inside Pete V. Domenici Hall will be outfitted with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and will be used for classes, forums and other large meetings. Funding for the building comes from a combination of federal and state funds. The building’s auditorium will be funded through a significant contribution from the PY Foundation, led by Peyton Yates.
Yates received an honorary doctorate from NMSU in 2010. He is a former executive in residence at the NMSU College of Business, where he mentored business students and lectured. In 2008, Yates Petroleum Corp. donated $500,000 to help NMSU create the Domenici Institute, named for retired U.S. Sen. Pete V. Domenici.
The Hershel Zohn Theater has been vacant for the previous four months. It was originally home to NMSU’s theater arts program, which moved to the university’s new Center for the Arts building at the corner of University Avenue and Espina Street last December.