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$15M renovation to add ‘wow factor’ to CNM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Laboratory Building on Central New Mexico Community College’s Main Campus will be closed soon for four terms – 16 months – for the structure to undergo a major, $15 million renovation.

L Building will be vacated the first week of April while workers prepare for demolition. Spring classes – now underway – were intentionally scheduled for 12 weeks instead of the usual 16 so the project could start.

When completed, the renovated L Building on Central New Mexico Community College's Main Campus will have a "wow" factor, one college official says. The $15 million project gets underway next month. (Courtesy of CNM)

When completed, the renovated L Building on Central New Mexico Community College’s Main Campus will have a “wow” factor, one college official says. The $15 million project gets underway next month. (Courtesy of CNM)

“Once the renovation is complete, it will have state-of-the-art labs and classrooms,” said Lou Castillo, the Physical Plant’s director of construction services. “You will know it’s a science building by entering it or even just driving by.”

He said the 27-year-old building has a number of “mechanical” problems and, to take care of those, “we might as well renovate the whole building.”

Philip Carman, associate dean of the School of Math, Science & Engineering, said the closing will mean that the laboratories will be relocated, some permanently. Anatomy, biology, geography, geology, microbiology and physiology labs will be moved to temporary facilities on Main Campus, while the astronomy, chemistry and physics labs will reopen on other CNM campuses this summer.

When the work is complete, the two-story building will have a markedly different look, more like the JS Building and the Student Resources Center. The building will also grow from 33,000 to 43,000 square feet.

The project will incorporate eco-friendly and energy-efficient features, and will provide two areas for students to congregate and study.

“Students will find the renovated L Building a much better place for learning,” Carman said. “It will have additional biology and chemistry labs. All the labs will be updated with the latest technology. The whole building will have a ‘wow’ factor.”

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