Portales schools, ENMU sign agreement on stadium

By Christina Calloway
CMI staff writer

Portales Municipal Schools’ role in the construction and operation of Eastern New Mexico University’s new stadium as part owners was confirmed Monday when ENMU’s Board of Regents approved a Joint Powers Agreement.

The agreement says Portales schools, one of the largest contributors to the stadium’s $8 million cost, will be paying $1 million in the next two to three years. In exchange, Portales students will utilize the stadium for practices and games.

In order to begin the project, ENMU President Steven Gamble said officials have to have cash in hand.

The agreement said if ENMU is not able to raise that money, the $1 million will be returned to the schools.

But that’s an unlikely result, according to ENMU Foundation President Steve Doerr because he’s confident his group will raise the rest of the money within the next three months.

Doerr said $7.3 million of the $8 million required to begin has already been collected.

“We’re moving right along,” Doerr said. “This is actual money in hand and we received numerous pledges.”

The breakdown of what’s been collected includes the $1 million from Portales schools, $4 million from students fees (over the next 30 years), $1 million from ENMU, about $606,000 in capital outlay funds, and the rest of the money is in the form of donations.

Doerr said the ENMU Foundation plans to start its campaign this week to secure the rest of the funds.

“We have so many people that are excited about it,” Doerr said.

Gamble hopes to break ground on the new stadium in August 2015, according to Doerr.

Portales schools’ Board of Education will have the same agreement on its agenda at its next meeting.

Portales schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain said after a few points were clarified in the agreement, he doesn’t foresee any problems in the agreement passing.

“We’re making sure it’s something good for the university and schools,” Cain said. “I think it will be beneficial for both of us.”

Here’s what’s in the agreement:

• ENMU and Portales schools estimate that construction of the stadium will cost $8 to $13 million.

• ENMU will commence construction of the stadium no later than July 1, 2018.

• Portales schools may use the stadium for athletic events and practices in accordance with a schedule determined no less than quarterly by a stadium committee.

• Portales schools will receive all gate and concession revenue from the events it hosts at the stadium.

• One locker room will be decorated with Portales High School colors and logos for use by PHS during its athletic events.

• Portales schools will pay for routine stadium maintenance in amounts proportionate to its ownership, but not to exceed $2,000 annually.

• The stadium committee, in addition to determining scheduling of events and practices, will work out any conflicts of use. The committee is made up of three ENMU officials, and two Portales Schools officials.