NMSU granted funds for bike racks, solar parking shades


The NM Legislature approved funding for NMSU to improve parking shades and bike racks.

The second session of the 54th legislature started Jan. 21 and ended Feb. 20, with many notable changes in store for New Mexico students.  

 New Mexico State University was awarded over $700,000 in Capital Outlay, state funding for campus improvements, while the University of New Mexico was awarded about $400,000.  

 Matthew Madrid, director of government affairs at the Associated Students of NMSU, went to Santa Fe for two weeks of the legislative session.  

 “My Job, in essence, is to be a lobbyist for the students,” Madrid said.  

 One large initiative was granted $130,000 of the $150,000 initially asked to help with the Veterans Housing Project, which repainted the 41 homes in the Tom Fort Village.  

 NMSU is “one of the only campuses in the entire country that has something like this,” according to Madrid. 

 The $130,000 granted this session will go toward redoing the plumbing and appliances for the village, as well as some drought resistance and landscaping. 

 The second request was for $1,055,000, of which NMSU was awarded $595,000. This funding will address bike theft and parking shades. 

 NMSU plans to combat bike theft this with improved bike holding structures costing $55,000. The structures will be enclosed areas students will be able to swipe into with their I.D.’s, with racks that will vertically hang bicycles for space optimization.  

 ASNMSU encourages students to register their bike in order to use the enclosed holding racks and in the case that a bike gets stolen. 

 The racks, which will hold 10 bikes each, will be located near Branson and Zhul Library. A very large rack will be placed between Jett Hall and the Engineering Complex 3 will hold 20 bikes. 

 With the remaining $595,000, a new parking shade center will be constructed directly over the parking lot adjacent from Knox Hall.  

 This parking shade will be similar to the one by the campus Aquatic Center, in that it will be topped with solar panels.  

 “Last year our student senate passed a resolution, essentially saying ASNMSU will help the university along with its mission to be carbon neutral and more environmentally friendly, so this is part of that initiative,” Madrid said. 

 This parking lot was chosen because it is very unlikely that this lot will be replaced, removed or demolished anytime in the long-term future according to Madrid.  

 These projects stem from the Student Advocacy Board, which consists of students from many parts of the university such as the Continuing Diversity Board.   

 “Our Legislators, they truly care about the implications of what they do as far as the NMSU community and New Mexico as a whole,” Madrid said. “They do a lot of important work and they all have the best interest of the students in mind.”  

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