New Mexico Highlands University, Lora Shields Science Building

Las Vegas, New Mexico

  • FIRM

    Soleil West


    New Mexico Highlands University

  • AREA

    20,200 sq.ft.





Completed in June 2011, the 20,200-square-foot remodel of the Lora Shields Science Building re-establishes a focal point on the New Mexico Highlands University campus. The scope of the remodel includes the basement, first, second and third levels, and focuses on converting former science laboratories into academic classrooms, faculty offices and new ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY437COST PER SQ FT$78.00FEATURED IN2011 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation labs.

The Lora Shields Science Building was designed to attain LEED silver certification. A variety of green practices were included, such as water-catchment systems, photovoltaic renewable-energy systems, recycled and regional materials and finishes, efficient glazing systems, solar shading, water-efficient plumbing fixture replacement, heating and cooling upgrades, and low-water-use landscape vegetation.

The architect arranged the interior spaces to capture daylight, even though the space did not have an exterior wall. Consequently, faculty offices and workspaces are awash in natural light. With the enthusiastic support of faculty, epoxy countertops and science tables were reused throughout the facility.

When the doors opened this summer, students and faculty enthusiastically put the new classrooms and labs to use. The building now has 24 faculty and graduate-level offices, 10 laboratory spaces (including specialized labs for anthropology, physical science, geology and paleomagnetism), multiple classrooms and a lecture room.