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NM School for the Arts’ architects honored

The new home of the New Mexico School of the Arts has been honored by the Albuquerque chapter of the American Institute of Architects. (Courtesy of Peter Molick)

SANTA FE, N.M. — The Albuquerque chapter of the American Institute of Architects has recognized the New Mexico School for the Arts with an honor award for its work on a 140-year-old building.

The remodel and adaptive reuse project, converting the former Sanbusco Market Center into the state charter school’s new campus in Santa Fe’s Railyard area, was designed by Studio Southwest Architects. Klinger Constructors was the contractor.

In a press release issued by AIA Albuquerque, the jurors for the awards – chair Dwayne R. Eshenbaugh, Marsha Maytum and Paul Haack – praised the way the building was “programmed” with the owner.

“Rather than developing the program independently of the building and discovering there would be a lot of demolition work, the architect and owner developed the program around the existing spaces and constraints, which was a sustainable way of dealing with this 140-year-old building,” the release stated.

The statement further noted, “The jury loved everything about this project, from the salvage/repurpose and adaptive reuse aspects to the collaboration between the client and architect in programming everything to fit within the existing spaces.”

The New Mexico School for the Arts began holding classes at the new campus – formerly the site of warehouses and other railyard-related businesses in structures dating to the 1800s – in the fall of 2019.

It is the only four-year, statewide, public high school that serves students across New Mexico with arts and academic education.