Signaling the beginning of a safer, more accessible, and even more beautiful Klauer campus, the groundbreaking for Phase 1 of infrastructure upgrades recently took place at UNM-Taos.
A UNM-Taos project has been funded to create a new Klauer campus entrance from County Road 110. It will start just past the main entrance, wind around the new Pathways building, and loop toward the back of campus near the trailhead and the Kids Campus, meeting up with the current main road. This completion of a perimeter road around the campus in Phase 2 of construction will eliminate the conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles that currently exist in the parking lots.
Vehicles will be shifted to the exterior of the current footprint to increase pedestrian safety as they move from parking areas to passageways and buildings. Safety for children attending the Kids Campus will be addressed with a designated drop-off area and direct access to trails and sidewalks.
Phase 1 of the project also increases overall safety by adding campus lighting while protecting darkness and night sky provisions. The number of security cameras will be increased and placed according to The University of New Mexico security standards.
In addition, new paved parking lots will create a cleaner and more cohesive look with other recent parking lot improvements, will be more accessible, and will make snow and ice removal easier. New native landscaping throughout campus will add beauty, habitat, and shade. And new signage and wayfinding will make the campus easier to navigate for visitors.
“UNM-Taos campus strengths include the wonderful outdoor art collection, beautiful natural setting and views, and the open campus with a network of trails and gathering spaces for use by the campus and community. These improvements will make access to the art and trails safer and more accessible,” said Aaron Zahm, principal landscape architect at MRWM Landscape Architects in Albuquerque, who is working with UNM Planning, Design and Construction on this project.
Seventy-five percent of the about $4 million cost will come from capital outlay funding and 25% from UNM-Taos. The college’s request for funding was recommended to the New Mexico Legislature by the state’s Department of Higher Education. The Legislature approved the funds in 2019.
Another positive outcome of these improvements is the resulting conceptual campus plan — a vision of how Klauer campus might look in the future.
“These improvements are the first phase of an overall campus vision that will support and enhance current activities and provide guidance for future expansion, all while respecting the amazing character and beauty of the campus and its surroundings,” Zahm said.
The project is expected to be completed in the fall.