You are here: HomeNewsFront Page News ArticlesWNMU Master Plan seeks public input 031914, part 2

WNMU Master Plan seeks public input 031914, part 2

The Western New Mexico University master plan public input continued with more questions from attendees.

Burke Fleming, resident, pointed out the university is thirsty for water. 'Silver City is limited in water, which is the No. 1 thing we have to have. The university wastes a lot of water."

Jason Clark of Studio D Architects in Las Cruces aid Western would be looking at other surfaces for athletic fields. "The Student Memorial Building can be sustainable. It's an evaluation as we go through the process."

"I think we are the highest user of water, even after we took care of the pool leak," WNMU President Joseph Shepard said. "In new bathrooms, we are considering waterless urinals and one-gal flush toilets."

Susie Trujillo said the town has an active trails group and asked if they were involved.

"We are talking about a spur to the Continental Divide Trail to the campus," Shepard said.

Mike Trujillo, county resident, asked if the existing baseball field would accommodate men's baseball. "And what about students who need a technical education?"

Clark said the current field was too small for baseball, but "it can be a topnotch softball field."

Shepard said computer science degrees have seen a decrease in demand, because a lot of the technology has been outsourced to India and Brazil at a fraction of the cost of an American computer programmer. "We're looking at programs that we are best at, and we will still have vocational programs."

Gwyn Jones, town resident, asked if the plan was "doable. Will the university have enough funding? And what about 11th Street?"

"Have you talked to the town about paving 11st Street as a connection to the Child Development facility to alleviate problems on 12th Street?" she asked.

Shepard said the university has "pots of money. Finances for operational use is different from capital outlay. The pool and fitness center are predicated on student fees. We figure the revenue will be about a half million dollars a year to pay off revenue bonds or loans for the pool and fitness center. Yes, the community will be able to use the center for a membership fee, with students using it for free, because their fees are paying for it. We will pay for the loan before we do a student activity center."

Clark said the 11th Street issue was being discussed.

A participant asked about what happens to Eckles Hall and Regents' Row.

"They are going away, but their replacements will be part of Mustang Village and residential life," Clark said.

Scott Terry, Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce president, asked about communication between the university and the community. "And what about Watts Hall?"

Clark said after the renovations from water damage there was space at Watts Hall that could be utilized. "It is an asset that we will be evaluating what goes into it."

Margret Begay of JPPO asked about collaboration with youth. "You could get the YCC (Youth Conservation Corps) involved in creating pathways. And what about the Police Academy?"

Clark said the dog park was another area not be used as an athletic practice field as originally envisioned. "We have assets that are underutilized. We are focused on getting people to the campus." He said the Police Academy was also an issue.

Mike Sauber, resident, asked about goals for energy efficiency.

"It is in the discussion," Clark said. "We are working on the concrete jungle. Light Hall will make the Fine Arts Theatre look terrible. The FACT facility is amazing for such a small town, but it needs attention."

"As part of Phase 2, we are inventorying interiors," Shepard said. "I surmise that the FACT will be a high priority for a future general obligation (GO) bond. Our priority right now is to finish the projects we have started. The FACT is actually a good donor opportunity."

A woman asked about Watts Hall and if there were any other satellite facilities, other than the dog park. that were being considered.

"Right now, we are concentrating on the main campus," Clark said.

The same woman asked about using drainage water for watering the landscaping.

"At Doña Ana Community College, all the rain water is captured off the roofs," Clark said. "But we had 100 days without any rain, so the plants didn't do well. There are always applications that are good in theory, but don't always work."

Begay asked if community members were part of the groups and councils.

"From the Campus Planning Council, some have asked that neighbors be involved," Shepard said.

Mike Metcalf of the Expressive Arts Department said: "As an artist, aesthetics is important. With the architecture and the paving, it needs to be thought about altogether, beginning with College Avenue. I would see the not yet existing Student Union Building as been important to the campus. I also suggest wayfinding in town. Come up with consistent parameters. We need to be having conversations on materials. I want space where people want to stop and congregate. In developing a set of lighting standards and a palette, I would like to see creativity."

Silver City Arts and Cultural District Manager George Julian Dworin asked if thought had been given to educational programs for seniors in the summer.

""We had thought of that, but we did not have residential spaces," Shepard said. "Now we do, but I do not want to take away from the local hotels.

A female said an expanded conversations where the community gets involved is needed.

Clark said with the pathway system, he would like to see quasi-ownership by the community.

Jones congratulated Clark on making sustainability part of the plan, because "there will be financial benefits. I also heard there is a geothermal source under some of the buildings. Will you use that?"

Clark confirmed that there are springs that wreak havoc with buildings. "We are on top of a lot of rock, so I don't know how feasible it is to look for geothermal. For sustainability, we have to be responsible in design."

Susie Trujillo thanked Clark and Shepard for holding the input meeting. "You, Joe, are keeping your promise to us that you would keep up informed and involved."

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Twice lately, someone has used one of MY photos, TAKEN by ME, without attribution or payment to me or the Beat. Remember that ALL PHOTOS ON THE SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER. All content is also automatically copyrighted to the creator, when it is posted. 

For all you non-profits out there who hold regular fundraisers and want to thank your supporters, the Beat has a new flat rate of $20 plus GRT for Thank You Ads, which are posted under Community. Thanks for supporting the Beat.

The Beat is very pleased and excited to announce that it has an intern, Alexis Rico, who is studying journalism at New Mexico State University. Please welcome her. We will be experimenting together on some new ways to provide the news to you. We look forward to your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thanks for being a Beat reader!

The Beat thanks all of you who have become friends of the Beat by sponsoring pages.

We have added a new category under Sponsors on the menu—Local businesses. You and your business can benefit from the exposure by contacting the Beat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Someone will contact you for an interview and to take photos. The cost for the sponsorship is $100, and you can continue the relationship by advertising your business for a longer term. The longer the term, the better the discount you receive.

The Beat is now posting legal notices for area governmental agencies. Check under the menu item Community to find Legals for what's happening in the area in the way of meetings and other legal notices.

You may have noticed a blue button on the upper left side of most pages. It says Sponsor GCBTo help defray ever-increasing costs of the Beat and to prevent the requirement for paid subscriptions, the Beat is asking you to choose an amount you want to pay on a one-time or regular basis to SPONSOR a page or feature that you rely on. 

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top