The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU to show new facility

Grand opening for Golden Library slated for Aug. 28.

 

August 19, 2018

Courtesy photo

A bird's eye view of the new interactive kiosk at Eastern New Mexico University's recently renovated Golden Student Success Center.

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University officials want people to rethink the concept of a library.

For starters, the $26 million renovated Golden Library will now be known as the Golden Student Success Center (GSSC).

A grand opening is set for 5 p.m. on Aug. 28 to show off the new facility, which Jeff Elwell, president of the Portales campus and chancellor of ENMU's three-campus system, said he hopes will become the new hub of activity.

"The hope is that unlike nowadays where people think of libraries as kind of quiet, stodgy places, this is really going to be a vibrant atmosphere and a place for people to hang out, not just go when they need to write a paper or find some materials for a test," Elwell said.

GSSC Director Melveta Walker told The News on Friday that the new student success center will include a veteran's lounge, new multipurpose rooms, an interactive kiosk featuring campus and library maps and upcoming events and - her personal favorite - a presentation area with recording and streaming capabilities that can hold about 75 people. The Golden Library only had room for 20 or 30.

"The thing I'm proudest of is the new presentation area because we're going to have as many presentations as we can," Walker said. "We may have a musical presentation, an art demonstration, book talks, maybe a children's hour some day."

Another draw for the building will be the addition of an Einstein Brothers Bagels coffee shop, which Elwell said will maintain the same hours as the GSSC.

"I hope and think that will attract the public because we don't really have that kind of food in Portales," Elwell said.

Walker said she thinks students will be more comfortable with the modern look of the library.

"It's probably the most 21st Century on the campus," Elwell said.

"We've renovated things, but just from the technology to the look to the feel of it to the use of it, it's really very, very modern," Elwell said.

Elwell said the Aug. 28 grand opening will include multiple speakers - himself, Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, Regent Jane Christensen and Steven Gamble, interim president of ENMU-Roswell and Elwell's predecessor as ENMU president, whose vision was responsible for the renovation, according to Elwell.

That will be followed by a reception with refreshments and guided doors of the new building, complete with punch cards to mark the places you've been, Walker said.

Elwell said of the $26 million needed to renovate the building, the majority came from general obligation bonds in 2014 and 2016 totaling $11 million each, along with $4 million from the university's reserves.

"We had great support in this county and around the state in 2014 and 2016, but to get the GO bond money approved it had to go through the Legislature; so really the whole Legislature but especially those folks in the south and east of New Mexico were very important and helping this dream become a reality," Elwell said.

Walker said the vision for the renovation first came together about 10 years ago when she proposed a redo of the infrastructure at the Golden Library due to a shortage of electricity and poor wifi.

Once the university realized there were still more changes needed at the library than that approximately $1 million project, a full renovation was designed and construction began around Thanksgiving 2016, Walker said.

Elwell said he thinks it was worth the money.

"I think it really is probably the best student success center in the entire state," Elwell said.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

RAYMOND R FISHER writes:

This is yet another example of waste at ENMU, the money would have been better spent providing work-study labor for the community just as the stadium was a waste ENMU has now begun a trend of foolishness!!

 
 
 

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