Bond D Would Renovate NMJC Class Building, Infrastructure
9/26/2018 10:49:46 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. [Story by Curtis C. Wynne, Hobbs News Sun]
LOVINGTON — The reverse side of the Nov. 6 general election ballot will include four general obligation bonds, one of which stood center stage at Thursday’s Lea County Commission meeting.
Kelvin Sharp, president of the New Mexico Junior College, described plans for the $4.75 million slated to go to NMJC if higher education Bond D passes.
“What we plan to do really breaks down into two major areas,” he said. “The first is, when the nurses move to the new Allied Health Building, the space in McLean Hall will be available. What we would like to do is renovate that space for the cosmetology program.”
Cosmetology currently is taught in three separate locations on the campus — Watson Hall, Heidel Hall and the second floor of the library.
“I’m all about great educational experiences for students,” Sharp said. “I think if we can bring those students together in one space in McLean Hall and put those students together where they can share their experiences, it will be much better for our high school students, our college students and the clientele they work with. It will be a good state-of-the-art space.”
The other half of NMJC’s portion from Bond D involves updating infrastructure of the 52-year-old school.
Fire alarms, lighting, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems are on the drawing board.
“That’s not the fancy part of the bond,” Sharp said. “That’s just something that we have to do in order to keep the campus up like the citizens of Lea County would want us to do.”
Sharp reminded the commission of a similar $4 million bond that passed two years ago, making the Allied Health Building possible.
“When you come to the campus and you look behind the museum, between the museum and the baseball field, the Allied Health Building is being completed,” he said. “That building will be completed in December. Our students will move over there in January.”
He called “exciting” the prospect of being able to increase the number of nursing students that the school can accept from the previous 45 to 60.
“There were students that we were turning away in the past that we will be able to accommodate in the new space,” Sharp said.
Sharp emphasized passage of all the bonds will add no additional taxes. On the flipside, tax levies would be reduced if any or all of the bonds are defeated by voters.
“It will not raise taxes because bonds freed up from 10 years ago will have been paid off,” he said.
Other bonds on the General Election ballot are Bond A, senior citizens facilities; Bond B, libraries; and Bond C, school bus acquisitions.
“Because of the number of contests in November, all four of the bonds will appear on the back of the ballot,” Sharp warned. “We need to be sure and remind people to flip the ballot over if they have an interest in those bonds.”
Curtis Wynne may be contacted at reporter3@hobbsnews. com .