Historical demolition?

By: Carrie Ratkevich, Staff Reporter
Photos By: Howard Crum, Senior Photographer

Student organization raises concerns about building demolition>

Plans for the buildings on Coal and Buena Vista need to be looked at carefully, said Vice-President of the Executive Council of Students, Stephen Martos.

If the buildings can be restored, there are many student organizations that could use the space, said Martos. There are also many programs that could use the restoration of the build­ings as a class project, such as Applied Technologies, said Martos.

“If there is a historical value to these buildings, it needs to be looked into being saved,” said Martos.

The old buildings across Buena Vista from the administrative build­ings are going to be torn down, because they are in poor condition, said Marketing and Communications Officer Brad Moore. The three houses owned by CNM are going to be torn down this summer, said Moore.

“Due to the age of the structures, CNM has determined that it would not be cost-effective to renovate the buildings,” said Moore. The decision was made at the Governing Board meeting in March.

There are benefits to rehabilitat­ing the buildings, said New Mexico Historic Preservation Division Public Relations officer Tom Drake. There are several state and federal laws that act as guidelines for preservation and can help with grant money for the projects, said Drake.

“There are financial incentives for preserving historic buildings,” said Drake.

Rehabilitating the buildings could qualify CNM for credits against state and federal income taxes, according to nmhistoricpreservation.org.

CNM has used the buildings as offices for both security and ITS, but the buildings have been used for stor­age for a long time, said Moore.

“Since they have become an eye­sore for the residential community in the area, CNM made a commitment to the local neighborhood association to address the issue,” said Moore.

Drake said there are several options for protecting old buildings as long as a few general rules are followed.

“There are many ways to preserve historic buildings, but in general they must have reached the age of 50 and have not been altered in such a way that they no longer read as a building from the period in which they were built,” said Drake.

CNM has no current plans for the land once the buildings are torn down, said Moore. A layer of crushed rock will be put down to prevent weeds and dust, said Moore. After the demolition is completed, CNM will begin figuring out what to do with the vacant lots, said Moore.

The residents of the neighborhood have said they do not want the space turned into a parking lot, said Moore. They also do not want a large building on the lot. They have suggested a park be put there but would not want to deal with possible vagrants, said Moore.

“CNM will discuss possibilities for the long-term future of the property as part of its master plan for the next five years,” said Moore.

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