Notes from the Oct. 25, 2005 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., Oct. 31, 2005 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents has approved a resolution that will allow school administrators to apply — if need be — to a state agency for a $10 million to $13 million loan in order to begin work on replacing the research university’s ailing hot-water loop system, which provides hot water and heat to many of the buildings on campus.

During the board’s monthly meeting on Oct. 25, New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López said the approved authorization by the university’s governing board will allow the school to apply for a loan through the New Mexico Finance Authority to cover the projected costs of entirely replacing a 25-year-old heating and hot-water system that has recently been plagued with a spate of leaks among its critical junctures.

“We have requested this special funding arrangement to allow New Mexico Tech to seek bids to start this replacement and repair project immediately,” López said, “but we may not need it. We are still hoping to acquire the needed funding for this project by requesting infrastructure funding from the State of New Mexico during the next legislative session.”

López also told the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents that a campus committee had recently drafted an emergency plan for the university to employ in case the hot-water loop system should fail again during the upcoming colder winter months and the campus be left without heat or hot water.

The emergency plan calls for students who are housed on campus to be temporarily relocated to the New Mexico Tech Gymnasium, which would be used as an emergency shelter while repairs are being made to the heating system.

“While it is unlikely that we’ll have to resort to using the gym as an emergency shelter for our students, we still are working hard on making sure that we’ll be as ready as possible to handle any situations that may arise as a result of a possible hot-water system failure,” López said.

Also during the meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents, as mandated by university policy, was informed that two purchases of more than $100,000 had recently been made from restricted funds: