The Board of Regents has given approval for four new residential housing units on the UNM main campus.   The housing units will provide 1,026 beds for freshmen and are expected to be available in fall 2012.  The cost of the project is projected to be $34,716.388.

The new construction will require the demolition of Santa Ana Hall and two Student Residence Center Units.  That is expected to begin in May at the end of the spring semester.

To view the new units visit: Preliminary designs.

The residential housing units will be built by American Campus Communities, which will also handle leasing of housing and management of the units when they are complete.  ACC says the units will be built to LEED Silver standards and there will an extensive program to divert at least 75 per cent of waste materials from landfills by separating on-site waste and hiring a company to recycle materials.

Freshmen will see residence life programs that are similar to the programs offered in traditional UNM housing.  UNM Vice President for Student Affairs, Eliseo (Cheo) Torres said, "We have discussed new residential housing for students on this campus for the last 15 years.  UNM students have visited other campuses where ACC has built housing units and are enthusiastic."  He also said new residential housing will help with recruitment and retention.

UNM is working out a 40 year ground lease for the new residence halls.  ACC will pay UNM a set amount on an escalating scale for the opportunity to build and lease the residence halls.  The lease will require ACC to keep the buildings in Class A condition and the company will submit annual repair plans.  The ground lease will spell out the conditions for ACC to operate on campus.

Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration David Harris says UNM has limited options to build new residence housing.  The New Mexico legislature will not allow state funds or general obligation bonds to be used for resident housing so UNM was left with the choice of floating university revenue bonds or working with a private company in a partnership arrangement.

Lobo Village, an upperclassmen and graduate student apartment complex on the UNM South campus is the first joint venture between UNM and ACC.  It is nearing completion and students will now provide 866 beds for upperclassmen and students will begin moving into the facility in August 2011, just in time for the fall semester.  ACC says it is already 65 percent leased.

ACC, Lobo Development and Student Affairs Representatives are now meeting with campus groups who have expressed interest in the project.

Media Contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; e-mail: kwent2@unm.edu