Location: Las Vegas NM

65,000 sf

Owner: New Mexico Highlands University

As a “Gateway” to the campus, this new construction student center is the living room of the campus. The contemporary three-story design uses stone as the building base, with full-height glazed glass panels providing natural light for the main public spaces. A Corten steel panel system along the exterior perimeter of the building completes the building skin, which does not require external painting.

It includes:

  • A dining facility for the residence halls
  • A flexible theater space that can also be used for lectures and dances
  • Offices, computer lab, conference space, campus bookstore, campus post office, café, copy center, game room, and an executive boardroom for campus governance groups

The building design is organized around a central atrium at the south main public entrance. The north entrance features an outdoor courtyard and a large interior gathering space.  A skywalk connects the building to the university’s Donnelly Library.

Cutting-edge green features are incorporated throughout the building design, including using geothermal technology to heat and cool the building.  Some other green highlights of the student union include: computerized external metal sunshades for the expansive south and west glass windows maximize natural light and help maintain a steady temperature as well as ow-flow plumbing fixtures that conserve 41.3 percent of the potable water used in the bathrooms, and a 30,000-gallon underground cistern that is used for the drought-tolerant landscaping.




“Franken Construction clearly recognizes the importance of customer service to repeat business.”

~ Dr. James Fries, President  New Mexico Highlands University ~