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SANTA FE – University of New Mexico students will get a hands-on chance during a spring class that just started to help preserve the old adobe St. Anthony Parochial School being restored in Peñasco.
A Restoration Committee formed by the Peñasco Valley Historical Preservation Society purchased the school in December from the Santa Fe Archdiocese with plans to preserve it and convert it to a museum and arts center.
Committee President Alfredo Romero contacted Francisco Uviña-Contreras, UNM’s director of the Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program, several months ago about helping out, Uviña-Contreras said in a telephone interview.
Committee members will visit and relate the school’s history to Uviña-Contreras’ Preservation Technologies and Adaptive Re-use class. The class will then visit the school site for several days.
“We do have drawings (of the school) which is something great when you actually have these types of drawings,” Uviña-Contreras said. The class will probably do schematic design concepts of what the building could become.
Uviña-Contreras said he told the committee it “was very, very important to bring in the new generations … now we need to bring in the youth from the community to see how they create their own story around this building.”
The building’s condition will be looked at and how it could be restored with technical assistance, and it becomes “a community-driven project,” he said. “We are really excited as well as the community, they are really, really excited to work with our students.”