Campus Renovations

University of New Mexico to Convert Sorority House to ROTC Center

The University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque, N.M., has announced plans to renovate a former sorority house into a center for the campus ROTC program. The decision was made not only from a sustainability standpoint, but also to provide the ROTC facilities with a much-needed upgrade. The UNM Board of Regents’ Finance and Facilities committee has approved a $9.5-million budget for the project that still has to be approved by the full board.

“The building isn’t in great shape right now,” said UNM student Kiera Hanley in reference to the peeling paint, broken windows, and crumbling exterior walls of the former Alpha Chi Omega sorority house. “But it will be nice to have use for it. I think it’s really important to try to sustain every building UNM has right now instead of using more resources than necessary. It’s a perfectly good building that needs renovating.”

The ROTC center will provide space for the university’s Air Force, Army, and Navy service units. “The three are currently housed in separate, inadequate, older buildings which do not support 21st-century ROTC training or educational needs—or provide a higher educational environment,” said Lisa Marbury, UNM assistant vice president of Campus Environments & Facilities. The current facilities don’t meet state standards, ADA standards, and sometimes don’t have enough room for female recruits, she said.

Renovation plans for the 18,732-square-foot space also include facilities like classrooms, computer rooms, study areas, team-building training areas, offices, conference rooms, library space, and shared event spaces. Each of the three branches of service will have its own designated space within the building. UNM is partnering with RMKM Architecture, P.C. on the project.

UNM Regents said they hope the new facilities will make the campus ROTC program more attractive and competitive on a national scale. “If you go to Texas or Tulane or any other of these major universities, the facilities they provide for these programs are pretty impressive,” said UNM Regent William Payne. “So when we bring prospective students to UNM, it will be nice to have a state-of-the-art facility to encourage them to come here with.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].