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FARMINGTON – With help from the Farmington Chamber of Commerce Redcoats, San Juan College President Toni Hopper Pendergrass and Chairman of the San Juan College Board of Trustees John Thompson cut a red ribbon and officially opened the 30th Street Education Center at 3401 East 30th Street in Farmington in a ceremony on  Dec. 3.

The four-story building, previously occupied by Hilcorp Energy Company until 2016, was bought back in February of 2019 using bond monies in a joint agreement between San Juan College and Farmington Municipal Schools. San Juan College paid approximately $3.18 million for 53 percent ownership of the building, and Farmington Municipal Schools paid approximately $2.82 million for 47 percent ownership.

Attendees were given tours of the building where San Juan College and Farmington Municipal Schools employees had moved in weeks before. The building includes office spaces, boardrooms and a few classrooms used mostly by San Juan College's adult education program, the Academic and Career Engagement Center, or A.C.E, which includes facilities used to live stream classes to students in rural communities like Dulce.

“We’re super excited to use this building after it sat idle for so long,” Thompson said. Thompson went on to stress how much cheaper purchasing and remodeling the former Hilcorp building was, rather than remodeling and expanding San Juan College’s old Burlington Annex building on 30th street.

The Burlington Annex building, which is owned by the San Juan College Foundation, was built in 1968 by Burlington Resources. The building housed San Juan College’s adult education program, the ENgaging LAtino Communities for Education program and the offices of University of New Mexico’s San Juan Center and New Mexico Highlands University’s Farmington Center.

The programs formerly housed in the Burlington Annex, along with San Juan College’s marketing department, the San Juan College Center for Workforce Development, San Juan College’s Community Learning Center and the Veterinary Technology program are now located on the second and third floors of the new building. Farmington Municipal School’s administrative offices occupy the first and fourth floors of the building.

“It creates synergies between all of our stakeholders,” said Pendergrass of both San Juan College and Farmington Municipal Schools sharing a single building, and all of their once decentralized offices now being in a central location. “It allows for departments to have their staff members in one location, which enhances opportunities for team building.”

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-333-5283 or via email at sribakoff@daily-times.com.

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