New dorms could be ready by fall of 2007

By Tony Parra

Portales city councilors on Tuesday approved plans for new residence halls at Eastern New Mexico University.

ENMU officials are working with developers from Collegiate Development Services of Irving, Texas on an $11.9 million project. The residence halls would be located behind Eddy Hall and extend to South Avenue I. There would be four apartment complexes with 270 beds and a resort-style pool and a volleyball court in the center.

Angie Rawie of Collegiate Development Services said ENMU representatives would manage the residence halls.

“The apartments will be fully-furnished with high-speed Internet and basic cable,” Rawie said. “It is going to be a great project for the community. It will take pressure off the rental community so that it will make those apartments available for professionals.”

The city councilors approved the plans contingent on the developer paying for rerouting the utilities.

The project would mean there would be no need for Chavez Hall. During an earlier ENMU Board of Regents meetings, ENMU president Steven Gamble said it would cost more than $1.2 million just to fix the plumbing in Chavez Hall.

According to one Collegiate Development official, the goal is to start construction on the project in August and complete the residence halls in time so ENMU students could move into the new residence halls for the 2007 fall semester.

There would be a community center and leasing offices next to the residence halls with 270 parking spaces.

The residential buildings have one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments which would be fully furnished. The one-bedroom apartment would tentatively cost $511 per month per bed, while the two-bedroom apartment would cost $451 per month per bed. The four-bedroom apartment would cost $351 per month, per bed.

• Portales city councilors approved a grant agreement with representatives from the New Mexico Economic Development in which the city was awarded $110,000. The agreement requires city officials reallocate an $36,300 within the city’s budget for the project.

Jeremy Sturm, economic development director, said the money will go toward brick sidewalk pavers and street lights on Avenue A and Main Street in addition.

Sturm said the lights that were put up in other locations will be functioning “pretty soon”.

• Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega proclaimed April 9 as Betty Ainsworth Day. Delores Penrod of the Roosevelt County Democratic Women said Ainsworth is the last surviving charter member of the Roosevelt County Democratic Women when it first started in 1961.

The Roosevelt County Democratic Women will be holding a 45th birthday of the organization at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Memorial Building.

• City councilors approved the appointment of members to city committees: Public safety, public works, recreational advisory board, finance/administration, airport board, cultural affairs, lodger’s tax advisory board, economic development finance review and planning commission.

There is still one vacancy in the recreational advisory board and two vacancies in the planning commission. Those interested in applying can do so at city hall.