The newly renovated Johnson Center on The University of New Mexico campus received two awards recently from New Mexico trade associations.

The Center received the 2021 Best Building award from the Associated General Contractors of New Mexico (AGC) in the $20 million and over building category. Each year, AGC recognizes New Mexico’s most impressive construction projects across the state in various categories.

Rusty Hiers, senior project manager for Jaynes Corporation, said of the project goals. “(Johnson Center) is the front entry into the University, and into what we hope people starting off their educational experiences will see and it will really entice them in making UNM their choice.”

NAIOP New Mexico also recognized Johnson Center with their Award of Excellence in the Education category. NAIOP New Mexico is a commercial real estate development association that brings together representatives of real estate, construction contractors, engineers, and architects.

Johnson Center was built in 1957 and served as the home court for UNM Lobo Basketball until The Pit opened in 1966. After more than 60 years of extensive use and numerous changes and additions, the space was no longer meeting the needs of the University. In 2019, a comprehensive renovation of the facility began.

The renovation project doubles the amount of space available for weight training and cardio fitness and provides an indoor running/walking track, indoor cycling studio, an expanded Bike, and Outdoor Adventures Shop, a renovated South Gym, new east entrance with lobby and social spaces, and exterior site amenities.

Completed in March 2020, the $35 million project opening was delayed until October 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Johnson Center Expansion & Renewal represents the successful partnership of many - student leaders, academic advocates, focused administrators along with skilled architectural and construction industry partners - in the creation of enhanced recreation and fitness facilities for our UNM community. I am thankful for the University’s investment in the student experience and proud that Planning, Design & Construction played a role in the creation of such a joyful and energizing environment,” said University Architect Amy Coburn.