While a temporary student health center has been operating since September 2023 in the Cultural Center on the San Juan College campus, college officials took a major step toward opening a permanent home for the facility on Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to the school’s Health and Human Performance Center.
The nearly 2,700-square-foot addition will serve as the long-term home of the student health center, a facility being constructed at a cost of $2.2 million. Work on the project was due to begin Monday, Feb. 26, with Farmington’s Jaynes Corporation serving as general contractor.
College officials celebrated the milestone on Feb. 23 by gathering for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the new center, which will be built at the southeast corner of the Health and Human Performance Center, just north of the Zia Conference Center on the west side of the campus.
San Juan College President Toni Hopper Pendergrass explained the value of the new facility, telling the crowd its importance cannot be overstated.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their tremendous support,” she said, singling out US Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-Las Vegas, New Mexico, who helped secure a $1.1 million federal appropriation to cover half the project’s construction costs.
AJ Pacheco, one of the congresswoman’s staff members, said Leger Fernandez considers the appropriation of an investment in New Mexico’s future.
“The congresswoman is always so impressed with San Juan