The Elections and CNM: What a Vote for Bond D Means


Audrey Callaway Scherer/Chronicle photo

Students stroll past the L Building on CNM’s Main Campus on Nov. 5, the day before Election Day in N.M. A sign on the building advocates for passing Bond D, which would raise $7.5 million in projects for CNM, if approved.


Eighth in an occasional series

The Chronicle has been running a series of articles on the Nov. 6 elections and how they might affect CNM. This package is about Bond Question D, authorizing $136.2 million in general obligation bonds for higher education, special schools, and tribal schools across New Mexico. Of that, $7.5 million would be set aside for projects at CNM. The Chronicle offered Marvin Martinez, executive director of the CNM Physical Plant Department, an opportunity to discuss the bond and its impact on CNM, if passed. 


By Staci Bostic-Baros

Chronicle reporter

As voters work their way through their ballots Nov. 6, they will see a full page of bonds up for consideration. Higher Education Bond D has the potential to create some exciting changes for CNM, said Marvin Martinez, executive director of the CNM Physical Plant Department.

“The GO Bond D for Higher Education has funded many capital improvement projects at CNM and higher education institutions across the state,” Martinez said. “Bond D is extremely important in helping CNM keep its facilities and infrastructure up to date, as well as providing high-quality learning environments for our students.

Voting yes on Bond D does not increase taxes, and these funds, allocated in years past, have fueled many student-centered projects across CNM campuses.

Martinez said recent improvements at CNM funded by general-obligation bonds include the recently completed J Building Renovation on Montoya Campus, and the building now called Richard R. Barr Hall.

Richard R Barr Hall includes a new library, tutoring center, computer labs and dental assistant and cosmetology programs, he said. The Science Lab, in L Building on Main Campus, includes new state-of-the-art biology and chemistry labs, as well as modernized classrooms.

The Westside Phase I Building includes a library, tutoring center, earth and planetary science lab, computer lab, art studio, bookstore and a café. The JS Building on Main Campus houses various high-tech labs and classrooms for CNM’s health care programs, from nursing to respiratory therapy.

The current renovation of Max Salazar Hall on Main Campus, once completed, will have 118,000 square-feet of space, a 25,000 square-foot increase over the current building that will allow for more spacious classrooms, he said. Max Salazar will house 53 classrooms, three computer labs and several “agility spaces” where students can study or relax.

The Rio Rancho Campus building will house classrooms for various general education courses, facilities and labs for the Nursing program, he said.     

If the bond passes, Martinez said, CNM would use the funding to relocate and improve facilities for the Art Department on Main Campus. Art Department facilities on Main Campus are currently located in the N Building, which is scheduled to be demolished in 2020.

If the bond does pass, CNM will relocate the facilities to Max Salazar Hall and Ken Chappy Hall. CNM will create an art display area for art students in MS. In KC, CNM would create three to four art studios, a new kiln room and some art supply storage space.

“These upgrades will be great for our art students and our art program,” Martinez said.

“In New Mexico, art is a major economic driver, and we feel this is a great opportunity to support our art students and the art community in New Mexico.”

Other projects this year’s approval of Bond D funds would enable renovation of some of CNM’s aging infrastructure, including re-roofing several buildings that are in need and replacement of several HVAC systems that are outdated with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC systems.

Bond money would be used to upgrade parking lot lighting, too. CNM would begin installing LED lighting in our parking lots. LED lighting would be brighter than the current lighting, and the light would be dispersed better to cover more area, making the lots safer. LED lighting is also more energy efficient.

“We encourage all CNM students to exercise your right to vote in the General Election, and all upcoming elections. Please make your voice heard and participate in our democracy,” Martinez said. “In terms of Bond D, it’s the primary source of funding for capital improvements that allow higher education institutions to make much-needed renovations to aging facilities and to upgrade technology infrastructure. These important projects help ensure that students have access to the high-quality learning environments they need to succeed in their chosen fields.”

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