Submitted by SMPC Architects

The first building for CNM’s new Rio Rancho’s campus provides 66,000 sq ft of educational space to this remote location. In fact, new roads and utilities had to be added to reach this building where none existed before. The project is a microcosm of the themes of the future campus, where buildings will shelter the exterior spaces from wind and sun.

CNM Rio Rancho Campus
Photo Patrick Coulie Photography

In addition to classrooms, specialized nursing simulation labs allow students to receive real-time training. Other features include a library, lounges, computer labs and a tutorial area.

The permanence of masonry is mixed with champagne-colored storefront windows that change color depending on the sun. At night, a striking limestone tower is awash in LED lights, as if a beacon to the new community.

The parking lot sits atop 150 wells drilled down to 250 ft for the ground-coupled heat pump system, helping the project attain LEED gold.

Owner: CNM - Central New Mexico Community College
Architect: SMPC Architects
General Contractor: Gerald Martin
Engineers: Bohannan Huston; Chavez-Grieves Consulting Engineers; Bridgers & Paxton