GO Bond 3 passes, securing $89.2 million for capital projects at UNM

Students work in a painting studio inside of the UNM art building. The art department is set to move its operations to a new facility if G.O. Bond 3 is passed during the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Photo by Zara Roy/Daily Lobo.

By Zara Roy / for The Daily Lobo

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, general obligations bond 3, providing $215,986,000 toward higher education in New Mexico, passed with 61% of the vote. This money will be distributed among colleges, universities, specialty schools and tribal institutions across the state, with $89.2 million going to the University of New Mexico.

With the money, UNM’s two main projects are the creation of a new children’s psychiatric center at the UNM Health Sciences Center and a new center for the arts — dubbed the Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology — on main campus. They also plan to make infrastructure improvements to the four branch campuses in Valencia, Gallup, Taos and Los Alamos, according to UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair.

The new arts center, an estimated $45 million project, would house programs from across the College of Fine Arts and provide updated spaces and technology.

“Especially with the film industry in New Mexico being what it is, it’s been an emerging industry. We want to support that and we want to support students that want to stay in New Mexico and go into the film industry,” Blair said.

The arts facilities have not been updated in 60 years, according to Harris Smith, Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

“Nothing has really changed,” said Maria Jose Garcia, a student in music education. “The practice room areas are pretty bad. There’s a couple small spaces for us to  practice, and it’s kinda hard to find a space to practice,” Jose Garcia said.

Another $36 million will go toward the children’s psychiatric center, which has also not been updated in 60 years despite serving as the only children’s psychiatric hospital in the state. The new facility is set to have 52 bed spaces and a new intensive care unit for the most at-risk patients.

The Taos and Gallup branches will each see $3 million going toward hall renovations: Fred Peralta Hall and Gurley Hall, respectively. The project at Gurley Hall will focus on interior improvements to improve and create gathering spaces in the facility and improve natural lighting. Peralta Hall, an arts education building, will see upgrades to classrooms, updates to the HVAC and fire systems, and small exterior renovations like safety lighting.

Finally, around $1 million is allocated toward Los Alamos and Valencia for general campus wide renovations and improvements as well as solar energy installations on the Valencia campus, according to the University.

Bradley Eversgerd contributed to this report.

This story was originally published by the Daily Lobo

Zara Roy is the copy chief at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at copychief@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle