Those supporting taxpayer-funded higher education in New Mexico should take a close look at the Bond C question on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot.
Voters statewide will decide whether to allow the state to issue $120 million in general obligation bonds for capital improvements at New Mexico's universities and colleges. The cost breaks down to about $6 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. But taxes would not increase because this "GO" bond actually replaces a retiring bond by the same amount.
Locally, Bond C would funnel almost $11 million of the total into projects at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, Clovis Community College and Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari.
ENMU would receive $9 million to improve infrastructure of its technology classrooms in the Jack Williamson liberal arts building.
CCC would receive $800,000 for renovations, including improvements at its allied health building.
And Mesalands would receive $1 million for roof repairs and other infrastructure needs.
Area higher education presidents said the GO bonds, which go before voters every two years, are essential for ensuring our students have facilities conducive to learning.
"The state has invested billions in the facilities at universities," ENMU President Steven Gamble said. "It only makes sense that we put money into the maintenance and repair of those facilities."
CCC President Becky Rowley said the money can only be used for renovation projects, if voters approve. Education leaders had to convince lawmakers of their needs first, she said, which was no easyfirst step in this economy.
Eastern New Mexico will fare well in the statewide distribution; we would receive 9 percent of the total and we only have about 3 percent of the state's population.
The remaining monies will be divided among about two dozen institutions around New Mexico: Some other major projects that also will be funded if Bond C passes include:
- $19 million for two dormitories at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces;
- $18 million for the first phase of a geology facility at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro;
- $16 million to renovate a chemistry building at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque;
- $10.5 million for improvements at the South Valley main campuses of Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.
- $6 million for a media arts facility at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas;
- $5 million for renovations at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell;
- $4 million for a vocational education complex at Luna Community
College in Las Vegas;
- $4 million for infrastructure renovations at Western New Mexico University in Silver City;
- $3.3 million for infrastructure improvements at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs;
- $3 million for a biology building, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque;
- $3 million to renovate and upgrade the campus at the Taos branch campus of the University of New Mexico;
- $2 million for infrastructure at the Dona Ana Community College branch of New Mexico State University;
- $2 million for power, campus security and equipment upgrades at the
El Rito and Espanola campuses of Northern New Mexico State;
- $1.5 million for campuswide renovations at the Roswell branch of ENMU.
We support Bond C once again because the local projects, as with many of those listed above, go to continue our existing structural investments.
This tax-supported measure is not fluff laden and it won't raise taxes.
It deserves your support.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.