Stadium backer on board

The biggest financial backer of a proposed on-campus football stadium at Eastern New Mexico University is on board.

ENMU student Senate President Justin Aguilar told the school's board of regents Tuesday that the senate passed a resolution supporting the project, which would use student fees to pay for half of the projected $8 million cost. The other half would come from state and private funding.

"Thanks a lot for letting the students have a say in this," Aguilar said.

ENMU President Steven Gamble said students will have to pay an extra $40 a semester for 25 years.

According to a preliminary feasibility study provided by Gamble, Greyhound Stadium, which is about 8 miles east of Portales on U.S. 70, is dated, inconvenient for fans to get to and needs $1 million in improvements.

Joshua Lucero: Courtesy photo

Eastern New Mexico University officials are taking the steps needed towards the building of a new football stadium on campus and saying goodbye to the school's current Greyhound Stadium on N.M. 202.

The new stadium has been marketed as a multipurpose facility that could be used for a variety of sports, as well as the school's marching band.

Regent Randy Harris said he was happy students expressed a desire for the stadium because without their support, it would be unlikely that this project be able to continue.

With students getting behind the stadium, Gamble asked the board for the green light.

"I'm hoping a consensus is reached out of this so we have confidence in the direction we're deciding to go," Gamble said. "The ENMU Foundation wants to get behind this."

Gamble said the ENMU Foundation would donate $35,000 for a thorough feasibility study and architectural drawings of the stadium.

He added student government officials would take the leadership to educate the rest of the student body about the project.

"The only downside is that it costs," said Gamble about the project. "The negative is already known; it's the positives that we need to stress."

Gamble suggested administration bring a final vote to the students during homecoming, when school spirit is at a high.

"I'm in favor of moving forward but what's the next step?" Harris asked Gamble.

Harris urged Gamble if he wants to move forward with the project, the time would be now to form a committee comprised of ENMU personnel and community members to report to the board regularly at its meetings on the progress of the project.

"We're all set to name a committee," Gamble said.

Other board members gave their blessing to move forward with the project.

The committee is set to include alumni, students, civic leaders, bankers and elected officials. The committee will be charged with raising awareness for the need of the stadium in Portales and to help secure funding for the project, according to Gamble.

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