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Architectural rendering of exterior design for proposed D.W. Williams Hall renovation. (Courtesy: RMKM Architecture)

NMSU plans Sustainability, Efficiency with Renovations to D.W. Williams Hall

If New Mexico voters approve General Obligation Bond C for higher education in November, New Mexico State University’s 78-year-old former gymnasium currently used for art students and the University Art Gallery would be transformed into a 21st century visual arts center.

The facility, which was last retrofitted to house the art department and gallery in 1972, is among those on the NMSU campus in most need of renovation.

“The Facilities Condition Index (FCI) is the industry standard to analyze the physical needs of a building in terms of the ratio of the cost of remedying facilities’ deficiencies to the current replacement value,” said Glen Haubold, NMSU associate vice president for Facilities and Services.

“While a rating of 100 percent means all component systems are past their useful life, anything above 50 percent means the building should be considered for replacement. D.W. Williams Hall has an FCI of 77 percent, which is among the highest of all buildings on the NMSU Las Cruces campus.”

Williams Hall_proposed Interior 2As part of GO Bond C, $22.5 million is planned for D.W. Williams Hall, which would address a number of issues with the current facility such as limited square footage, ventilation for chemical and technological processes and access issues. The new facility will also be built to and submitted for LEED Silver certification.

“LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council,” Haubold said. “It provides independent third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”

An executive order signed in 2006 required that all future state-funded building projects of more than 15,000 square feet be built to meet LEED Silver standards.

NMSU received recognition for its first LEED certified building in 2009. Since then NMSU’s Las Cruces campus has constructed three LEED Silver and five LEED Gold certified buildings, with two pending. The NMSU system has seven LEED Silver and nine LEED Gold certified buildings.

“Thanks to more than $800,000 in donations raised by members of the community, the design phase is well underway,” Haubold said. “Through our collaboration with members of the D.W. Williams Hall Committee, NMSU’s Department of Art and a team of architects, we plan to create a well thought out, efficiently programmed, creativity-inspiring building ready to meet the educational needs of NMSU and its students.”

Author:  Minerva Baumann – NMSU

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