Guests at the grand opening of the new Student Services Center at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell tour the facility, Tuesday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
The sun streamed through the wall of windows into the newly constructed $4.8 million Student Services Center Tuesday as officials proudly opened Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell’s newest facility.
Some 100 community dignitaries mixed with students who made use of the new one-stop-shop for the some 4,500 students it serves, while live music played in the background.
“Places like this change people’s lives,” said builder Doug Clark of Jayens Construction in Albuquerque.
Clark was one of several speakers at the ribbon-cutting event. He thanked the students who he said “demonstrated to the state and to the voters and administrators that you need this kind of a facility.”
Located just south of the campus’ Student Union building, the new facility brings several services together under one roof, said University President Dr. John Madden.
Paid for by general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2008 and existing local obligation bond proceeds, the 11,514-square-foot building allows students to access several services without walking throughout the campus, Madden said.
The site provides admissions, advising, career resources, concurrent enrollment, dual credit, financial aid, new student relations, records, access to the registrar’s office, student development, student support, switchboard, an information specialist, veteran affairs and the office of vice president of student affairs.
Student Kayleigh Chapman, 21, of Roswell, visited the center to take care of general business as the open house took place.
“I like it,” Chapman said, of the new center. “It really helps a lot. It’s not as confusing. It’s pretty nice too. I think it’s a lot easier with the sign-in (option) with the new computer.”
Chapman’s sentiment was what the university aimed for when constructing the new building, Madden said. Madden called the facility, the campus’ “front door.”
“That’s why it is designed the way it is, with the glass front. We want to make it easier on (students),” Madden said, “You come in the front door and somebody is right here. In the past it’s been, ‘Oh, that’s in a different building.’”
Madden’s goal is to ensure students get exactly what they need before they leave the building.
“If you walk out that door and you haven’t registered for classes, we’ve done something wrong,” he said. “If you come in here to come to school, you’re not leaving until we’ve taken care of everything you need.”
Student Affairs assistant Erica Quintana said she appreciates the openness of the building and the fact that she can help students more easily.
“It’s bigger, Quintana said. “Now staff is up front. We’re able to get their stuff processed right away. It saves time.”
Six independent computer stations were installed in the lobby area where students can go online to register for classes, use the Internet, or apply for admission to the college. Students can also easily access their grades from the independent stations.
The additional computer sites allow students the freedom to use the Internet without having to wait for assistance from one of the clerks, said Donna Oracion, college development director.
“We wanted to make it so the students were as self-sufficient as possible,” Oracion said.