ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Election day is inching closer and in addition to the governor’s race, there are three state bond questions on the ballot, which would give nearly $260 million to projects across the state. But a lion’s share of that funding would go to higher education in GO Bond question 3.

It would give $215 million to higher education institutions, without raising taxes. About $89 million of that would go to the University of New Mexico, with most of the funding going to the College of Fine Arts.

They would consolidate 13 of their buildings to eight and update the buildings which are all about 59-years-old.

Story continues below:

“This will give our faculty, our staff, and our students the support that they need to stay current on their training and the latest technology,” said Harris Smith, the Dean of UNM’s College of Fine Arts.

UNM also has plans to upgrade its children’s psychiatric center and make security and building improvements at its branch campuses. New Mexico State University will get about $51 million. Most of that money will go to replacing the 50-year-old engineering building. Lakshmi Reddi, the dean for NMSU’s College of Engineering said not having a cutting-edge facility is a major setback.

“We will be suffering with the lack of enrollment number one, number two, not adequately trained workforce for them to work in our local and regional industries,” said Reddi.

NMSU would also expand its Nursing Skills and Simulation Center and continue renovations to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture building on its campus. Both universities say investing in them helps keep talent here.

“If we don’t have the technologies or facilities that are current, then those students are going to go to other institutions,” said Smith. They also said it would help the state as a whole.

“It is in all of our interests, particularly in the employer’s interest, who are really the backbone of the economic development of this state, to really have cutting edge facilities, that we do train our students in cutting edge facilities in our campus,” said Reddi.

“It really does benefit our state and our economy, not just the university…one in every ten jobs is in the creative economy and again in the contributions that we make,” said Smith. “Whether people are aware of it or not, it does impact them.”

The other two state bond questions would give about $43 million to senior facilities, public schools, and libraries if passed. Early voting starts in October and election day is November 8th.