As final SFUAD graduates walk, city mulls future plans for site
May 11, 2018 10:25 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. – It was a big moment for seniors of Santa Fe University of Art and Design Friday as they walked across the stage and closed out eight years of academia.
Some of the graduates know what’s next – others don’t. But one thing’s for sure: Big changes are coming not only for them, but for the school’s campus too.
The university, along with the company that provides services for the school, Laureate Education Inc., announced the school would close because of declining enrollment and financial challenges. Now, the city-owned property will transform into something else.
The city has spent the last five months working to figure out what will become of the more than 60 acres that sit right in the middle of Santa Fe. City leaders put the fate of the campus in the hands of residents by asking for input through surveys and meetings.
They received more than 3,300 responses.
“We feel the passion from the community, so we’re trying to honor that passion and reflect what the community wants,” said Matt Brown, director of the Office of Economic Development for Santa Fe.
Brown is one of the people heading up what’s called the Midtown Campus Project. He said the majority wants to keep it a place for education. Other possibilities include a space for companies to grow, housing, and somewhere to expand the film and cultural arts industries.
Brown said some of the buildings could be destroyed, but others will stay.
“There are certain buildings we have already earmarked that need to be retained – the Greer Garson Theater, the Greer Garson Studios, the Visual Art Center," Brown said. "There's incredible buildings there that are both functionally important and also iconically important."
And while the campus now looks like a ghost town, Brown said they plan to give it some life during the transition by using the space for flea markets or outdoor events.
He said the next step in the long process is finalizing planning guidelines. Any new construction wouldn't begin for several months.
Updated: May 11, 2018 10:25 PM
Created: May 11, 2018 10:08 PM
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