UNM-LA seeks county help

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By Carol A. Clark

Anticipating county council’s final approval this evening, UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board members on Monday expressed appreciation to the county for $150,000 in financial assistance.

“I want to say to the county that we as an advisory board, administration and staff appreciate the county council granting our request for $100,000 for renovations and $50,000 for operational support – this is a good step in the right direction,” said Advisory Board Chair Marie Chiravalle during the board’s regular meeting on the college campus.

UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page met with County Administrator Max Baker and prepared a request to the county council for the $100,000 for the renovation and lecture hall addition project match and $50,000 for operational support.

County Council reviewed the request on April 28 and voted unanimously to include the request in the county’s FY2010 budget.

Page discussed the project with Superintendent Mary McLeod and Bond and Construction Administrator Herb McLean May 1 and is set to make a presentation to the Los Alamos School Board June 25 to obtain project approval.

He will then present the project to the Higher Education Department Capital Projects Committee on June 11.

Page previously met with staff and architects from the UNM Office of Capital Projects to review plans for the work. Page and the architects also met with student government representatives to gather their input and preferences regarding the renovation.

He said $100,000 will be used for building renovations and classroom upgrades in Buildings 5 and 6.

The UNM-LA Development Committee is scheduled to meet in June to develop a strategy for raising matching funds for the project.

Requests to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office and LANL Major Contractors Consortium are pending for matches for the college’s General Obligation and Revenue Bond funding.

Page submitted UNM-LA’s FY2010 budget to UNM Regents April 9 and to HED May 1.

The college has resumed its search for a computing facilities manager, he said.

Page also announced a reduction in force approved for the college café staff due to restructuring. The two staff members in that department will be laid off effective May 31, he said, adding that they will receive assistance in finding employment in another area or perhaps at the main campus.

Negotiations are underway to contract with an outside vendor to provide food services for the college, which was losing money handling the service in house, Page said.

He told the board he recently attended a meeting with the Governor’s Taskforce led by former Gov. Toney Anaya will be available for higher education programs.

The application process for these funds will be available later this spring, he said.

What the college doesn’t want to do is use any of those funds to develop new programs that require funding beyond next year, Page said.

The public is invited to attend this year’s college graduation ceremony, which will be held at 6 p.m., Friday in the Duane Smith Auditorium.

The UNM-LA Advisory Board has scheduled its next meeting for 5:30 p.m., Sept. 14 in Building 2 on the college campus. The meeting is open to the public.