New Residency Hall In the Works

More stories from Gianni Villegas


Christian Iglesias

Discussions over the new suite-style residence hall that will be built on the old Monagle Hall site.

New Mexico State University is adding a new Residency Hall for first year students and is expected to be completed by fall of 2019. The new hall will be a similar version of Pinon Hall, but instead will house 300 beds, have semi suit or shared rooms standing at about 9 feet, and will be a three story building. It will include a courtyard, possible fireplaces, and lounges for student interactions or individual study spaces.

Heather Zack Watenpaugh, is the University Architect and Campus Planning Officer and has been with NMSU for about two-and half years. Watenpaugh went into detail about what is expected for the look and feel of the new Residence Hall.

Why build a new residence hall?

“Living on campus and housing at NMSU plays an integral role in academic success of students and development of campus community.  Last July, the Board of Regents voted in favor of a first year freshman live on campus requirement, starting in Fall of 2017. Anticipating the increased number of freshman living on campus, the University is concentrating on improving NMSU housing for first-year population.  The New Residence Hall will provide approximately 300 beds, mixed use and support spaces.”

What are you excited about with this new building project?

“The new building will create a greater connection with the historical RGH complex through a similar Spanish Renaissance Revival architectural style, and be located in the desired central residential core across from the Corbett Center Student Union building.  The building will have many students focused aspects that will enhance student life on campus, including exterior and interior gathering spaces, good size rooms with views of the mountains, and multipurpose and lounge spaces, all with modern amenities.”

What are your expectations?

“This new residence hall will represent design excellence for the campus, be a fantastic addition to the central core buildings, and encourage students to become connected to their new life at the university faster.”

What is your advice for first year students living in the dorms?

“Take advantage of the many opportunities incorporated in the design of the new dorms to make friends, interact and be invested in this great university.  Enjoy your new home and leave it better than you found it for all future Aggies.”

Is there going to be another meeting for student opinions on the building project in the future to get more students to attend?

“This project is on an extremely fast paced design and construction schedule for the Fall 2019 opening date.  At this time, we have not planned future design charrette meetings.  However, there is student representation on the Building Committee for the design project, and the survey is available to all for input, please see the LINK below for access to the Visual Preference Survey. Forward to anyone relevant to the project.”

The budget for the building project of the new Residence Hall is at about $21.5million. The university refunded a bond by borrowing money from old consolidated debt. The money is also being used specifically for minor renovation to Garcia Hall, Pinon Hall, RGH, and the Chamisa Village.

The interior suggestions for the residency hall lingers between color coded carpeting, modern Hispanic feel for tiling, along with seamless layouts. Wi-Fi will be accessible throughout the entire building, including into the courtyard.

However, the courtyard layout is still undecided. Suggestions for the courtyard could possibly be similar to Pinons courtyard with a volleyball court and numerous benches placed under shaded areas. The vision is to have a new and improved courtyard with a different feel to it where students can go when they want time outside of their dorm/classroom to hang out with friends and to do homework.

Students are encouraged to have every experience of college life. Living on campus is a chance to build personal responsibilities, make new friends and get a glimpse of adulthood. It can be an overwhelming experience at first, but whatever benefits students the most financially and emotionally.

Apply for housing and/or meal plans or submit a residency exemption request at the this website



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