NMJC Plans $3M in Upgrades

NMJC Plans $3M in Upgrades

By Dorothy Fowler - Hobbs News-Sun


New Mexico Junior College board members heard a report Thursday that college administrators are planning $3 million in upgrades to the college’s infrastructure.

Dan Hardin, chief financial officer at the college, said the college is ready to undertake a major upgrade of the facilities management system and asked the board to approve funding for it.

The upgrade will include improvements to switches, valves, piping, wiring and software that regulates the heating, cooling and airflow from the central plant through the tunnels, to classrooms, hallways, lobbies and offices in buildings tied to the central plant.

The system will also monitor and control the buildings that have their own independent heating and cooling systems. Those buildings include the Western Heritage Museum and the Training and Outreach Building.

Cost of the project is projected to be $3,329,000, Hardin said. The project will probably be completed in December 2021.

Hardin asked the board to approve the project and its financing, which includes funding from general obligation bonds issued by the State of New Mexico as well as some institutional funding now, so that the Higher Education Department can approve the proposal when it meets on July

10. If the HED approves the project, the bidding process can begin in July or August.

The board also approved donating a John Deere Gator and a golf cart to Lea County. Josh Morgan, NMJC accountant/controller, told the board in previous years, the college has loaned the county golf carts for use at the Lea County Fair. However, NMJC’s insurance carrier recently indicated that the college should not continue that practice because of the increased liability to the college.

Morgan said the John Deere Gator was bought in 2001 for $5,500 and the golf cart in 2002 for $1,900.

“Both these items have been depreciated for the financial statement, but are in good shape and can be of value to Lea County,” Morgan said.

The office of the state auditor and the Higher Education Department will have to approve the donation, Morgan said.

Hardin also reported the annual inventory of all items valued at over $5,000 had been completed and all such items were accounted for.

Kathleen Ferrell, who heads NMJC’s adult education program, reported the program is exceeding the goals set for community college adult education programs.

Ferrell’s written report to the board said, “Student success is measured by measurable skills gains (MSG) in the areas of education advancement, entering into employment, entering into post-secondary education and/or achieving a career credential.”

The New Mexico state goal for adult education was 39 percent. More than 43 percent of students who entered NMJC’s program were successful.

The state’s goal for students in English as a second language was 32 percent. More than 42 percent of NMJC’s adult education students met their goal.

Ferrell said the adult education program is funded by state and federal funds.

President of the college, Kelvin Sharp, reminded the board and audience that four seats on the NMJC board will be filled in a November election. They are districts 2, 5, 6 and 7. Those seats are currently filled by Pat Chappelle (2), Hector Baeza (5), Evelyn Rising (6), and Mary Lou Vinson (7). Each of the incumbents plans to run again.

The next meeting of the board will be July 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the board room of the Pannell Library.

Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at education@ hobbsnews.com