Senator tours building

Marc Schoder: PNT staff writer

U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) was in Portales on Tuesday for a tour of Eastern New Mexico University’s new communications building. Domenici, who was at the original building dedication 31 years ago reflected back on his start in politics.

“I was interviewed by many of the young people who used to let me go on T.V. with them here (to be interviewed) when I first started in politics,” said Domenici.

The new 34,000 square-foot building will be operational for classroom instruction, broadcast, and radio use for the spring semester.

“I have a personal knowledge of (the old building). When I first started in politics the original building that they are in now was brand new,” said Domenici. “I was here when it was dedicated in 1974.”

Sen. Domenici said today in a release that he expects a new, nearly completed communications building to further enhance the school’s reputation as a great training ground for would-be reporters.

Domenici toured the facility due for completion in the late November, according to school officials. The senior senator obtained $500,000 last year to outfit the new building with equipment through the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

“This building is tremendous,” Domenici said. “They are going to now have a facility that meets the quality of the school.”

Domenici, the only member of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to serve on the appropriations committee, said in the release that it was important to obtain the federal funds for modern telecommunications equipment for the program.

“We have got to build for the future (and) when they have a facility like this, all of this will be magnified and worth every penny,” Domenici said.

Domenici added that the new building would be nothing but attractive to students.

“The senator seemed excited about the communications building,” said Daune Ryan, KENW-TV’s director of broadcasting.