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

President's residence another step closer


July 14, 2019

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University regents on Thursday took one more step toward a new president’s residence at the college. Now the challenge is taking long enough to do the project right and getting the project started before the year closes out.

Regents agreed on the Albuquerque-based architecture firm of Dekker Perich Sabatini to draw up plans for the new residence, commonly referred to within ENMU administrative and regents circles as the University House.

During its June meeting, regents decided the new residence would be built in the general vicinity of the current 1600 W. Cherry St. residence, first acquired by the university in 1968. It’s now occupied by ENMU system chancellor Jeff Elwell and wife Edwina Gower. The two are expected to remain in the current residence until the replacement is complete.

The regents also put together a committee to select an architect, and Dekker Perich Sabatini was recommended from an initial field of six applicants and a final field of two. The contract calls for a $65,200 base fee and up to $4,750 in reimbursable expenses.

Regents put together an architecture committee comprised of Regents Terry Othick and Dan Patterson and university representatives of Noelle Bartl, Patti Dobson and Adilene Adame. Its goal is to have a recommended concept and drawings for the September board meeting.

Most of the meetings will likely be in Albuquerque, with Elwell and regents agreeing online conference calls would work for nearly every meeting except for situations where physical presence is required, such as deciding on carpet samples.

The board tabled selection of a contractor, with a feeling they might be putting the cart before the horse.

“We’ve got a great architect,” Patterson said. “I think we ought to seek their advice on who the contractor should be.”

The project has a $650,000 state appropriation, with board Secretary Lance Pyle noting the project has to be under contract by the end of the year to keep that money.

“We want to make sure we have a University House that’s going to be here 50 years without the price changing,” Pyle said.

Board President Ed Tatum said he felt nervous using the end of the year as a deadline, and suggested an informal goal of Dec. 1.

In other business:

• The board approved Jaynes Corporation as the contractor for the Roswell campus’ Nexus Phase 1 project, which includes a building remodel, roof repairs and retaining wall repairs.

The total cost is not to exceed $3,436,318. Nearly 80% of the project costs lie with the building remodel.

Ruidoso campus president Ryan Carstens told regents the awarding of the project would fall outside of the 45-day window under which a contractor must maintain a quoted price. Carstens said that deadline passed July 5, but the contractor understood the difficulty of getting board approval during the holiday week and didn’t plan to change prices as long as the process was completed soon.

The work is expected to be complete in April.

• Board members tabled a request to enter a contract on physical plant building construction and automotive and technology building renovations. Roswell campus President Shawn Powell said the sides were still far apart in negotiations.

• Regents met in executive session for about 30 minutes regarding one personnel matter and one matter of pending or threatened litigation. No action was taken following the executive session.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 6.


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