College previews project priorities

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer

The top projects for Clovis Community College for the next five years are the construction of a performing arts center and the demolition of military barracks south of the campus.

The college board of trustees approved prioritizing the projects in the college’s master plan during Wednesday’s monthly meeting.

CCC President John Neibling said he will request about $5.7 million in funding for the projects from the Higher Education Department during a hearing in Aug. 27 in Roswell.

The performing center would cost about $5 million, according to Neibling. He said the figure is a rough estimate from the project’s architect, who is still doing preliminary designs.

The project will renovate three downtown buildings donated to the college, including the Mesa Theater, which will serve as the main performance facility. The two other buildings would be used as reception areas and dressing rooms and could include classrooms, according to CCC officials.

The center would be the main venue for the college’s Cultural Arts Series.

Neibling said expects a minimum of two year’s before the college could secure funding for the project.

Neibling said he expects a conceptual design of the facility by December.

The demolition of the barracks would cost about $686,000, according to Neibling. He told board members the area occupied by the structures could be used for a proposed Career and Technical Center for the Clovis Municipal Schools. The center would offer vocational and technical classes to Clovis High School students.

He said the center would encourage the students to continue their education at CCC.

The five World War II era barracks were moved from Cannon Air Force Base in 1971 to use as classrooms and offices for the college, according to Neibling.

He said the college still uses the buildings for storage but they have structural problems.

CCC Vice President for Administration David Pacheco said the buildings aren’t worth repairing and the demolition would include asbestos abatement.

In other business:

• The board renewed the college’s final year of a four-year contract with the Greig and Richards law firm for general counsel services. The college pays the firm an hourly rate of $135.

Neibling said a request for proposal for legal services will be issued next year.