Looking at nearly $500,000 to renovate the existing building that serves as its President’s House, the Portales-based Eastern New Mexico University has decided to put up a new building instead.
The one-story 5,000 square foot brick structure at 1600 W. Cherry Street, which is currently the official residence of President Jeff Elwell, was earlier found to have asbestos infestation in its ceiling, floors, and walls.
Last fall, members of the school’s Board of Regents received a report saying that it would cost around $490,000 to eradicate the building’s asbestos and generally renovate the structure.
Built in the late 1960s, the structure, on the northwest side of the campus, has served as the President’s House since 1973 and is often used for both school and community functions.
The regents were additionally told that the new house for the president, measuring between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet, could cost up to $700,000 to build.
In a unanimous vote, the regents have decided to go the new building route, although funding for the project has not yet been identified.
But those same regents have vowed that any funding for the structure will not come through increased tuitions or student fees.
By Gary Boulard
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