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College of Santa Fe Deferred Maintenance Fund Depleted

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A $15 million deferred maintenance fund set up when the city purchased the old College of Santa Fe has been tapped out, city officials said Monday.

“Work is pretty much done outside of a few small projects,” at the campus, now leased by Santa Fe University of Art and Design, city Project Administrator Lisa Martinez told the Santa Fe Public Works Committee.

Overall, the school is in good shape, Tom Olmstead, the school’s Director of Campus-based Facilities, said. While some items on the original deferred maintenance list remain uncompleted, SFUAD officials don’t intend to ask the city for more money.

“The major systems have all been repaired,” Olmstead said.

He noted that SFUAD is continuing to move forward with its own capital improvements program.

The deferred maintenance projects were expected to be paid for over about three years. Improvements have includes roofing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC work and a cafeteria expansion.

The city, in a 2009 lease agreement with Laureate Education, the for-profit company that runs SFUAD, agreed to provide the school with $15 million for deferred maintenance — needed repairs or renovations.

In 2010, the City Council agreed to allow SFUAD to use funds from the deferred maintenance pot for projects not on the initial list of needed campus improvements.

At the time, school officials specifically asked the city to shift over a million dollars into a new cafeteria after projections showed SFUAD might enroll more students than anticipated. School officials said SFUAD could enroll as many as 700 or 800 students in the fall of 2010.

That turned out to be overly optimistic. Enrollment at SFUAD currently is closer to around 650 students, Olmstead said. On Monday, city councilors said they want more information on student numbers, with some noting that the cafeteria reallocation was made under the assumption that the school might have tremendous growth.

The agreement between the city and school stipulates that any items deleted from the deferred maintenance list must still be tackled by SFUAD but on the school’s own timetable, albeit with exceptions for potential health and safety risks.

The agreement caps the city’s total contribution at $15 million.

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