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NMJC OKs Sale of Del Norte Center

NMJC OKs Sale of Del Norte Center photo 8/24/2018 8:19:36 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

[Story by Todd Bailey, Hobbs News Sun]

New Mexico Junior College is getting close to saying goodbye to an old friend.

During Thursday’s meeting, the NMJC board unanimously approved a bid to sell the Del Norte Center to Jaw Yue of Hobbs for $255,000.

With a pool, workout rooms, weight rooms, locker rooms and most notably racquetball courts, the center was a fixture of exercise and wellness for NMJC for more than 30 years.

But with NMJC’s participation with the Lea County Quality of Life Initiative and its participation in the development of the Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE), the school shut down the aging Del Norte Center about a week after the CORE opened in June.

“With the CORE facility opening up and accommodating that group of adult students who were a part of the center; for them to be able to move over to the CORE is just a sign of the times Del Norte needs to move on,” said NMJC president Kelvin Sharp.

Following a closed meeting with the board to discuss the details of the transaction, the meeting was opened back to the public for the board to decide the center’s fate.

According to an appraisal report on the property, located at 1503 W. Calle Sur, the building and land, given the need for remodeling costs, had a market value of $276,580. Demolition costs would run around $158,355.

NMJC coordinator of purchasing JoeMike Gomez presented four bids to the board, ranging from $50,000-$255,000.

Yue was not available for comment as of presstime on Tuesday.

After the approval to sell, NMJC general counsel/executive director of administrative services Scotty Holloman told the board the transaction still has to be approved by the New Mexico Department of Finance & Administration.

“We’re moving closer in that direction,” Holloman told the board.

NMJC officials were not clear as to when the property was purchased by the school, but Sharp was clear to say the building was in need of some extensive repair, which was another reason it made sense for the school to join in the construction and participation of the CORE.

“There’s a lot of people who have history with Del Norte,” Sharp said. “That’s been a popular facility for a long time, but it’s dated. It’s just like any home. After a certain time period you have to either go in and renovate it or replace it. We were fortunate to partner in the CORE and come up with a way to replace those activities (offered at the Del Norte Center).”

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