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New Cadet Dorms

6/30/2014 3:36:27 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Story courtesy of Hobbs News-Sun

New Mexico Junior College Law and Corrections Academy cadets will soon have their own housing on campus.

The NMJC board approved an additional $325,000 for upgrades at Bob Moran Hall to house Law and Corrections Academy cadets, during Thursday’s board meeting.  

In April, the board approved $500,000 for the project.

Steve McCleery initially asked the board for an additional $275,000, but the board agreed to approve the $325,000 to cover contingencies.

“I would feel more comfortable increasing the amount and adding another $50,000,” NMJC Board Chairman Guy Kesner said.  

McCleery said the new housing will reflect the State Law Enforcement Training Academy in Santa Fe and create a paramilitary environment compared to a college dormitory setting.

“During the budget workshops we presented to you the idea that we wanted to remodel the high bay areas of the Bob Moran building and convert that into bed space for our Law and Corrections Academy for housing,” he said. “This is very inexpensive and an efficient way to put about 36 beds in that building.”

“It gets our law enforcement academy into a paramilitary environment, which means it much more closely aligns with what they’re doing in Santa Fe,” McCleery continued. “That’s been an ongoing problem for the last 20 years that we’ve had the academy.”

The extra funds would cover furniture, a security system and a portion of the 600 square foot addition to the building.

The project is slated to begin in July.

Currently, the cadets have been housed in the student housing and the student apartments, McCleery said.

Some board members had concerns of the cadets not having a resident assistant assigned to them and supervising them. McCleery said the law and corrections academy upholds a high expectation on the behavior of its cadets.

“I think the paramilitary environment is incredibly different from a (college) dorm environment,” he said. “If you walk out of that hallway your on camera. Keep in mind   when you have a paramilitary environment (cadets) actually become in some ways the protectors so if you reach over the line in a paramilitary environment they become part of the discipline.”

The finished 3,200-square-foot remodeled are will include the 36 beds along with a common area, washer and drier facilities and the 600-square-foot expansion will include the shower and restroom facilities.

Denise Marquez can be reached at 391-5437 or at reporter@hobbsnews.com 

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