UNM postpones vote to plan new medical facility

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico’s latest plan for a new hospital has hit its first speed bump.

The school’s governing board has postponed voting on a request from UNM Hospital to proceed with more detailed planning for the first phase of a “modern medical facility.” Hospital administrators are seeking approval to hire an architectural firm and create construction documents for a 120-bed facility they estimate will cost between $230 million and $250 million and which they say is necessary to meet community demand and improve efficiency.

The UNM regents’ three-member Health Sciences Center committee on Tuesday had unanimously approved the request, advancing it to the full regents board. It appeared on the agenda for Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting but was removed hours before the session.

Regents President Rob Doughty told the Journal the board would delay a vote until Health Sciences Center leaders could update the state Board of Finance. The Board of Finance does not have to sign off on the request to move forward with architectural design and construction documents, but its approval is required to build the hospital. UNM’s last new hospital effort stalled about four years ago when the Board of Finance never held a vote on it.

“I just think this is the best way to proceed,” Doughty said. “Everybody is going to be in the decision regarding the new modern medical facility (and) informed as to the progress.”

He said he did not anticipate the Board of Finance “having any issue with” UNM Hospitals’ current request.

A specific funding proposal has not been presented.

The Board of Finance includes Gov. Susana Martinez, Lt. Governor John Sanchez, state Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, and other members appointed by the governor with consent of the state Senate.

Health Sciences Center Chancellor Paul Roth said he was told Thursday morning that the regents were taking the matter off the day’s agenda. He said David Harris, UNM’s executive vice president of administration and chief operating and financial officer, was attempting to get the hospital’s request heard at the Board of Finance’s June meeting.

He declined to comment about whether taking the latest request to the board could affect the project.

“I appreciate the regents’ concerns and look forward to meeting with the Board of Finance,” he said.

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop


Transforming NM's public schools: PED's new chief outlines ...
ABQnews Seeker
PED's new chief outlines lofty goals, ... PED's new chief outlines lofty goals, vows to make this "the year of literacy"
Irrigation innovation: Drought challenges water traditions in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Drought tests centuries-old water traditions in ... Drought tests centuries-old water traditions in New Mexico
Transforming NM's Public Schools: Kurt Steinhaus rises to education ...
ABQnews Seeker
Challenges include pandemic, reducing the rate ... Challenges include pandemic, reducing the rate of dropouts
New Mexico backs Texas in opposing nuclear fuel storage
ABQnews Seeker
Holtec facility seeking approval Holtec facility seeking approval
BLM moving back to DC, reversing Trump-era decision
ABQnews Seeker
  WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary Deb ...   WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is moving the national headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management back to the nation's capital after ...
Champion of the ABQ's West Side remembered
ABQnews Seeker
Community leader Dr. Joe Valles advocated ... Community leader Dr. Joe Valles advocated for smart development
New state law banned a county's gas stations from ...
ABQnews Seeker
It was a 'no brainer,' one ... It was a 'no brainer,' one owner says.
UPDATE: APD says missing 4-year old found safe
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police say they are no ... Albuquerque police say they are no longer looking for Catiana Zepeda, the 4-year-old whose mother was found dead on Friday in an apartment in ...
At Kirtland AFB, a scramble to enact vaccine policy
ABQnews Seeker
Details still being worked out Details still being worked out