UNM hopes to get $45 million for fine arts building upgrades

The University of New Mexico will be asking the legislature for tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the College of Fine Arts. UNM said the buildings are falling apart.

The fine arts programs offer degrees in art, dance, music, and theater, just to name a few. UNM said upgrades to those buildings are long overdue, and people who KRQE News 13 spoke with agree.

“We are a research institution so we need to make sure we have high-quality researchers and make sure our students have what they need here, and without having what they need they will go somewhere else,” said local Carmen Rawals.

The school hopes to spend $35 million on a replacement building for the Fine Arts College and putting another $10 million towards remodeling existing buildings. UNM said the college struggles with leaky roofs and outdated infrastructure. Most of the Fine Arts buildings are decades old, some are almost a century old. The project would include some much-needed tech upgrades. 

Some people fear the new construction would take away the building’s historical charm, others see it as a way for UNM to modernize.

“We already have a lot of old historical buildings in the area, maybe a new campus for students with new technology,” said local Brianna Lord.

UNM is already involved in other big projects, like the expansion of a recreation building near the bookstore and a brand new, state-of-the-art science facility.

The main goal is to get most of the fine arts programs, which are spread across 14 different buildings, under one roof but—they haven’t found a place for that on campus yet.

The university said it will ask for the $45 million in phases over the years.

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