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NMJC Allied Nursing School Building Is Taking Shape

NMJC Allied Nursing School Building Is Taking Shape photo 5/29/2018 9:28:59 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

[Story by Dorothy Fowler - Hobbs News Sun]

The skeleton of the building that will house New Mexico Junior College School of Nursing is upright and gleaming, ready in some places for its preliminary skin.

Wednesday morning, steel workers put the largest beam in place across what will be the main entrance to the Allied Health Building.

Project superintendent Charles Lowery, said the 70-foot long beam weighs 35 pounds a foot. A quick calculation reveals that it weighs 2,450 pounds or almost two and one half tons.

Despite its length and weight, the men who operated the machinery to put in place and the men who then secured it to the upright posts, made moving and placing it look almost as easy as working with Tinker Toys.

The sequence of events went smoothly as a fork lift operator used his machinery to pick the beam up and move it to a position where the crane operator could drop the hook so that a man on the ground could attach it to the steel wire that would hold it suspended until it was attached to the posts.

Men at posts at either end of the beam, wrestled it into place manually, using what looked like an oversized nail set to get the holes already punched in the steel aligned so the bolts that hold the steel together can be placed and a nut be tightened by hand.

“As great as the machinery we have available is, we couldn’t get these buildings up without the skill of these men,” he said. “They are all skilled workers who have had lots of training.”

Lowery said the building is right on schedule for a planned December finish.

“The weather today is great for us,” Lowery said. “But when we had that hot spell, I took a thermometer out there on the concrete floor and it registered 113 degrees. But the men went right on with putting the steel up.”

Lowery said the building has three areas, designated as A, B and C. Area A has enough of its skeleton in place that workers can begin to put up the exterior sheeting that will cover the building before the walls are bricked.

“We’ll finish hanging all the steel this week,” Lowery said. “And it won’t be long before we can go on to the floor and see where the rooms are.”

While the steel work is proceeding, Lowery said progress is being made on the utilities trench that will stretch from the Allied Health Building, across the street and parking lot to the Ben Alexander building, where the electronic equipment that will operate the utilities in the new building is housed.

“And while we’re doing that, we’re also building a bus lane,” Lowery said. “That will be a lane for buses to bring people to the building and drop them off right at the door.”

The new building will be a single-story structure, with 22-foot high exterior walls. The interior will be state of the art and will house state of the art equipment, planners say. Its cost will be $10 million. The college will not incur any indebtedness for the new building.

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Photo by Kimberly Ryan, Hobbs News Sun: Construction workers place a 70-foot long beam across the entrance of the new $10 million Allied Health facility for New Mexico Junior College.

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