A city of just over 11,000 people in southeast New Mexico is receiving state funding for three separate facility construction and renovation projects.
Members of the state legislature earlier this year approved just over $1.5 million combined in capital outlay funding for the projects, which later won the approval of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The largest outlay, at $963,000, is going for the renovation of the Lea County Courthouse, an Art Deco-designed structure built in 1936.
Located at 100 Main Street in downtown Lovington, the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is slated for a complete interior renovation.
The project, which could begin this year, is expected to take around 24 months to complete.
Exactly $200,000 has been approved for the creation of the Veterans Memorial Park, on a 2.5-acre site in downtown Lovington.
The long-planned project will be built jointly by both the City of Lovington and Lea County.
A smaller outlay for Lovington is seeing $150,000 in state funds for improvements to the popular and iconic two-story Lea Theater at 106 E. Central Avenue.
Opened in 1948 and also listed on the Register of Historic Places, the theater is known for its triangular front marquee and ceramic tile façade.
The theater was purchased by the City of Lovington, and, according to a metropolitan redevelopment plan study published two years ago is regarded as both a “strong economic anchor and cultural asset” for downtown Lovington.
By Garry Boulard
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