UNM seeking $7 million for ROTC upgrades | KOB 4
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UNM seeking $7 million for ROTC upgrades

Patrick Hayes
September 16, 2018 11:29 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Every two years, voters are asked to approve general obligation bonds for projects around the state.

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There are no tax increases associated with bonds. Instead, for projects at the University of New Mexico, they are later paid back using state funds and revenue generated by the institution.

One of the big-ticket items on this year’s ballot includes $7 million for a new ROTC building. UNM is currently the only school in the state to host the Navy, Army and Air Force under its ROTC umbrella.  

However, the Army’s current ROTC building is about 90 years old and too dangerous to work out of. According to the school, “the three programs are currently housed in separate, inadequate, older buildings, which need to be upgraded or replaced to support 21st-century students and education.”

“This building was built back in the 1930 era and it's had multiple renovations and multiple Band-Aids put onto a bad situation," said Erik Sevigny, the Army ROTC's senior enrollment officer at UNM.

On top of being an eyesore, Sevigny said the current building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it does not give students the learning environment they deserve.

 “I like to tell people, 'We're the Army, we'll make it happen. You give us a couple of sandbags and a table and we're going to teach classes,'" he said. "But our students, who've decided to stand up to be counted in something bigger than themselves, deserve a facility that allows them to fully embrace the educational portion of leadership training that we give them.”

Sevigny said trying to fix the old building, which had its plumbing destroyed during the monsoon season, would be like putting “lipstick on a pig.”

“When I bring parents and families and potential students into this facility, we dress it up as best we can, we make it as nice as we can," he added. "But there are so many other facilities around the country at peer institutions that are way better than ours.”

The school is also asking for $16 million to rebuild part of the chemistry building and $4.2 million for a new building at UNM's Taos branch.  

Early voting starts Oct. 9. Election Day is Nov. 6.

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Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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