Public officials in the village of Santa Clara are looking into possible funding sources for the upgrading of several buildings on the campus of Fort Bayard in southwest New Mexico.
Both Santa Clara leaders and State of New Mexico officials have announced an agreement allowing the village to lease six buildings on the historic campus, with the idea of eventually seeing those buildings restored.
Exactly where the money to fund the restoration project will come from is currently unknown, although it was earlier reported that Santa Clara plans to pursue both state and federal support.
An earlier study undertaken by Santa Clara indicated that it could cost as much as $7 million to bring the buildings in question up to date.
Santa Clara leaders have been trying for the better part of a decade to enter into a lease arrangement with the state, which is the owner of the Fort Bayard property, with the idea that updated structures at the site could prove a tourist attraction.
Built one year after the end of the Civil War in 1866, Fort Bayard was originally the home to the Buffalo Soldiers, an African-American Army unit.
In 1922, the fort was taken over by the federal Veterans Administration and was transformed into a primary veterans care complex. In 2004 the entire site was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark District.
By Garry Boulard
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