NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The stakes are high for universities in New Mexico this election season. The University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University are asking voters to approve a bond that would give them more than $80 million for new buildings on their campuses, among other upgrades.

The general obligation bonds come around every two years. If this GO Bond C is approved, it would give UNM $51,400,000 for seven projects among all its campuses.

“This bond is very important to us because it allows us to continue our cutting-edge research in the years to come,” Arash Mafi, Director of ChtM at UNM said in a promotional video produced by UNM.

About $30 million of that would be used to build a conjoined facility for the College of Nursing and College of Population Health, which the university says is growing in enrollment and getting tight on space. It also says investing in this project will also help fight the healthcare worker shortage in the state.

The new building would be built over what is currently a parking lot near the UNM North Golf Course, off of Yale Blvd and Tucker Ave.

For NMSU, passing GO Bond C would mean $30 million for all of its campuses. About $18 million of that would be used for new biomedical and agricultural buildings at its main campus.

“Why do we need these facilities? Because we’ve reached a point in which we need to have access to a little bit of more sophisiticated laboratories,” Rolando Flores, Dean of the College of ACES at NMSU said.

NMSU is looking to build a new food science center, livestock center, and expand its biomedical building.

“These facilities are critical,” Flores said. “We do the connection between the production on the farm with the health of the individual and all of that research is in benefit of the New Mexicans.”

Flores said the new facilities will help the College of ACES help New Mexicans helping them develop technology to improve the agricultural industry and economy. NMSU hopes to start construction on some of these facilities by March of 2021.

If passed, Bond C would also mean Eastern New Mexico University could get $8 million to complete the renovation of Roosevelt Science Center. The upgrades would include innovative classrooms and research facilities and updated utility systems.

The 2020 Capital Projects General Obligation Bond Act authorizes the issuance and sale of higher education, special schools and tribal schools capital improvement and acquisition bonds. Shall the state be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed one hundred fifty-six million three hundred fifty-eight thousand four hundred seventy-five dollars ($156,358,475) to make capital expenditures for certain higher education, special schools and tribal schools capital improvements and acquisitions and provide for a general property tax imposition and levy for the payment of principal of, interest on and expenses incurred in connection with the issuance of the bonds and the collection of the tax as permitted by law? 

General Obligation Bond C

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