Bond D Will Benefit Local Economy

Las Vegas, N.M. –Four million dollars will be added to the Las Vegas economy if New Mexico voters approve Higher Education Bond D.

“During the past decade, general obligation higher education bonds have brought about $21 million to the Las Vegas economy,” said Highlands University President Sam Minner. “If approved this year, Bond D includes $4 million for Highlands for much-needed infrastructure work that will make our main campus an even better environment for our students.”

If approved, Bond D will help Highlands with maintenance for plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems, university-owned roads, sidewalks, roofs and stucco. The money would also be used to replace showers, restroom fixtures, and leaky windows and doors.

Bond D is a statewide measure on the Nov. 6 ballot that does not raise property taxes, but instead would replace funding from bonds set to expire.

The Joe and Martha McCaffrey Historic Trolley Building is the most recent Highlands building to benefit from general obligation higher education bonds. It is a Las Vegas historic landmark that Highlands transformed into a state-of-the-art facility for its Media Arts and Technology Department, thanks to $6 million in GO Bonds as well as a $2.3-million New Mexico legislative appropriation.

Classes began in the 21,027-square-foot Joe and Martha McCaffrey Historic Trolley Building Aug. 17, 2016, on the first day of fall semester. It was completed on time and on budget.

Franken Construction based in Las Vegas, New Mexico, was the general contractor for the Joe and Martha McCaffrey Historic Trolley Building project.

“For a time, there were as many as 60 workers per day working on the Trolley Building, and they were all local Las Vegas contractors and subcontractors,” Franken said. “These labor wages go back into the community, stimulating the local economy. We were glad to be part of such a historically significant project.”

Previous higher education bonds funded renovation projects at Highlands such as the Lora Shields Building for the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work, the university’s swimming pool facility, and the Felix Martinez building, a one-stop shop for student services. Some other projects include installing energy-efficient boilers on campus and bringing buildings into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Historic Rodgers Hall is the next building at Highlands slated for renovation, thanks to 2016 GO Bonds funding that voters approved.

“The resources from these bonds have done so much for HU,” Minner said. “This year is no different. I urge everyone to carefully reflect on the value of these projects, and please, exercise your right to vote.”

Sylvia Baca, Facilities and Planning director at Highlands, said the higher education bond funding is a competitive state process that is completely separate from the university’s budget.

“By law, these higher education general obligation bonds are earmarked specifically for construction or renovation of publicly-owned university and college buildings and infrastructure,” Baca said.

Statewide, Bond D aims to help ensure college and university students have the learning environments they need to get an education and succeed, benefiting New Mexico’s future.

New Mexico statistics show that college graduates in the state earn $17,510 more a year than workers without a college degree.

If voters approve Bond D, public universities and colleges in New Mexico would receive a total of $128,070,000 for capital construction projects.

More information about Bond D is online at www.NMBondD.com