MetroABQ Blog

Whats Going On At CNM?New Mexicos Largest Community College

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM),the MetroABQs only community college, and the largest institute of higher education in the state (from, has been changing lately, and there are good reasons to be paying attention. S itting on 60 acres in the middle of the citys Urban Core, CNM is importantits another reason I love to call this city home.

Above is the newly expanded and redesigned CNM L-Building, with what appears to be a huge microbial design on the window flaps; walk past the two sides of the microbe, and it changes, evolves perhaps, and then disappears as you continue walking. Its a fantastic optical illusion that fits well into the New CNM.

The CNM campus is changing: buildings are being retrofitted to be nice and green LEED Certified, like the L Building, to the right; the Jeanette Stromberg Library (JS Building) was recently completed LEED, and the Advanced Technology Center is the third LEED Gold building at CNM. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that saves money and resources and has a positive impact on the health of the occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.

The CNM Campus is greening up with landscape, too. There is a large garden project currently taking shape on the busy corner of Coal Ave and University Blvd…In general the campus feels like a nicer, more comfortable place.

Maybe its the new(ish) president: Dr. Katharine W. Winograd is the first female president of the college; she was unanimously elected CNM President in 2007just as the Great Recession hit. I met and briefly worked with Dr. Winograd as the college purchased some property in the area and refurbished it beautifully. She listened carefully to the folks around her, gathering tons of information before making decisions.

CNM serves more than 28,000 students at five campuses, the Workforce Training Center and the Advanced Technology Center in the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metro area; and the college employs thousands of folks in administrative, faculty and staff positions, making the institution a powerful employment and educational force for the city, from entry-level jobs, to high-paying tech careers.

The Laboratory Building houses chemistry and biology laboratory programs and has specialized lab spaces. The size was increased to 39,000 feet, with the addition of entry atria on the north, south and east facades, seen in these photos. The microbial designs are glass panels applied with silkscreen patterns, which will depict science topics. Local firm SMPC Architects also designed a wall solar panel for hot water in the building; students can see how it functions through a blackboard.

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