ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Driving through the intersection of Central Ave and Girard Blvd could soon look pretty different. The University of New Mexico is looking to make that corner of its campus prettier and safer after it’s become a hangout for troublemakers and transients.
Students said the walls around the bus stop, the bushes, and no lights, make it hard to be aware of the surroundings in that area. They also said sometimes people will sleep behind the walls on campus or even in the bushes.
The university hopes the renovations will change that. “The biggest thing of course is that area is exceptionally dark. And we wanted to make sure that with those walls and that intense vegetation, we cleared that entire area out and made it open as possible,” said Adrian Schmitt, Executive Director of ASUNM Governmental Affairs.
Schmitt said the corner spot was chosen since the university had around 20 reports for safety concerns or incidents at the spot this semester. On Wednesday, students got to look at the renderings and give feedback.
“I think the renderings are really, really great. I love the modern design, especially lighting,” Kyle Hegarty, a UNM student. “There’s trees blocking it, there’s a parking lot…if something were to happen, there’s no one to see it. I feel like with these renovations it would completely change that.”
“Just making it more open, and a group or a place where anyone could go would be really great,” said Evan O’Connell, a UNM student.
None of the options impact the number of parking spaces in the nearby lot. The university received $400,000 for the project from this year’s state legislature. However, until a design is chosen, the cost of the entire project is unknown.
UNM hopes to have a final design chosen by May. It is unknown when construction would start.