From Campus President Felicia Casados:

I wanted to provide all of you an update on some campus construction projects and their status – I also ask for your patience as these construction projects begin to move inside our building in the upcoming weeks.

But first I’d like to say that we owe a great debt of gratitude to Dan Christmann, our Facilities Director for having the vision to plan for these construction projects that we’ve long needed to improve our campus infrastructure and our campus safety.  Every construction project requires considerable funding in a commercial facility (lots of 00000’s), as such the support of our area legislators this past legislative year with an added $500,000 in capital funding enabled us to move forward with these particular projects, along with grant support from our Milan DOT offices.

One of three projects is complete, the second is about mid-way and the third began today.  A fourth project will begin next week – all as follows:

1.       Project #1 – Improve campus drainage near south end of campus (near Automotive area); the NM Department of Transportation local Milan office, has been a very good partner with our campus in the past five years – this year they provided us a grant of a little over $100,000 to support this drainage project; we are required to provide a 25% cash match to DOT grants.  The road near the day care center opened back up this week and as you drive thru the road you will be able to see the major earth work that was done to improve campus drainage.  We have been good neighbors, as the homes that back the day care center and the day care center on occasion had flooding issues because of the heavy drainage flow during big storms off the mesa and the limited drainage capacity of the culverts that existed in that road area.  Dan really watched over this project because he understood the negative impact both to our neighbors as well as Small Wonders Child Care Center.    Our construction contractor on this project was Wooten Construction (out of Albuquerque).

2.       Project #2 – Renovation of our Theatre sprinkler system – which is bringing water into Theater for our sprinkler system –  Near the edge of parking lot you will see a large pipe protruding upwards –as per Dan it is a water hookup (or street turnoff) to enable the Fire Department to turn off water in the event the Theatre sprinklers are tripped.  Dan has told me that somewhere along the way, thru time, someone disconnected the water source to the Theatre sprinklers; they were nonfunctional and they are required by law in large public facilities to insure the public safety – the exterior work was generally completed today, an insulated box will soon be built around protruding water hookup to keep it from freezing in the winter.  This afternoon the Brycon Construction crew began brand the new interior piping into the Theatre and in next few weeks will be replacing all the theatre sprinkler heads because the sprinklers weren’t working and replacing the antiquated fire panel.

3.       Project #3 – Campuswide Security cameras, wiring for our new campus security camera system began today – you’ll see blue wiring being run thru ceiling in next few weeks; the wiring phase is being handled by an electrical company out of Albuquerque.  The actual installation of the cameras (inside and outside our buildings) and software and the server will be handled in the next stage by a second vendor company name of Sound & Signal (also out of Albuquerque).  Our security system will allow Facilities to recorded campus security video, all online; so Dan could be at home and review some of the recordings when a security breach occurs.  This project should be complete within 4-5 weeks.

4.       Project #4 will begin next week and will improve lighting in our Cybercafe and hallways – in the Cybercafe we will have new suspended pendant fixtures installed much like those in our Library to improve lighting at night in the Cybercafe (they are also energy saving lights).  This project is being handled by Precision Electrical out of Albuquerque and should start in the next week and is expected to be completed within 1-2 weeks at most.

Please join me in thanking Dan for his leadership in insuring future stability of our campus infrastructure and for supporting all the construction crews and their questions and needs.  It is an added burden to Dan’s normal workload but one which he seems to embrace with his usual enthusiasm.

I also ask for your patience as we complete these projects; workmen are in our area as I write this with ladders and moving blue wires in our ceilings – so please watch out for them as you go about your daily routines.  The nice thing is these 4 construction projects will all be done prior to our Winter break release which is scheduled for Friday, December 20.  Our campus will be closed completely from Saturday, December 21 thru Wed, January 1, 2014 allowing staff to have a nice long winter break with their families; it’s our ‘favorite’ time of the year!!

Upon our return on January 2, 2014, we will see the implementation of the final phase of our interior Library renovation(s); which will require our Library Staff to vacate the library during this last, major renovation phase!!  Our Library staff will be housed in the former Barnes & Noble bookstore area for about six (6) months during the construction process and Cecilia Stafford our Librarian has a plan in place to continue service to all faculty and students within some limitations.  I expect our Library renovation to be completed by the start of Fall 2014 classes at latest.  Thank you.