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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
March 15, 2004
Volume 39, Number 13

Branch campus/state news

UNM group presents Santa Rosa vision

By Carolyn Gonzales

Discussing aspects of design ideas presented by DPAC students at a recent community visioning workshop in Santa Rosa are DPAC Studio Instructor Jose Zelaya, left front, and Santa Rosa Mayor Jose Campos, and in rear, Santa Rosa City Councilor Keith Ross and UNM's Chirs Wilson. Photo by Carolyn Gonzales.

The Design Planning Assistance Center (DPAC) in UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning recently presented a community visioning workshop in Santa Rosa, N.M.

Santa Rosa Mayor and District 63 State Representative José A. Campos said the community has great potential and that the proposals give community leaders and the public the opportunity to visualize that potential.

DPAC students and faculty, Joni Palmer, landscape architecture; and José Zelaya, architecture; developed preliminary ideas for a redesign of the community’s downtown courthouse square.

“The Santa Rosa courthouse square is historic. We need to both recognize and preserve the region’s history,” said Chris Wilson, UNM associate professor and J.B. Jackson professor of cultural landscape studies.

“This Community Visioning Plan offers the city of Santa Rosa ideas and strategies for making better use of their natural and historical resources, while reclaiming a sense of pride and enhancing the quality of life for the residents,” Zelaya said.

The students’ suggestions included greater visibility of the city’s presence on Route 66. Gateways at either end of Santa Rosa’s downtown as well as signage, textured streets and landscape to delineate the historic region were among ideas presented.

The students shared photographs of some of Santa Rosa’s significant structures and landmarks including church steeples, the Johnson warehouse, and homes reflecting the community’s architectural history. “The presentation helps us to see what is special about Santa Rosa and what we need to preserve. It helps develop pride in our community,” Campos said.

Proposals for a trail system for pedestrians and bicyclists along the Pecos River and El Rito were also offered. “We are looking to improve the amenities for the community as well as enhance tourism in the area,” Wilson said.

Campos said, “Santa Rosa is known as the City of Natural Lakes. We need to look at ways to improve the area through landscape, park design and trails.” Ideas for facility improvements at Blue Hole, a nationally recognized scuba diving center, were also presented.

Of Santa Rosa, Campos said, “It’s like sitting on top of the Seven Cities of Cibola and not being able to open the treasure chest.” Through the visioning workshop, residents saw potential and said they want to make it happen.

UNM-LA and Delancey Street partner

By Bonnie Gordon

Celebrating the finished ropero, from left, UNM-LA Executive Director Carlos Ramirez; Michael Dealy, George Saunders, Bill Tsurnos and Tomas Archuleta.
UNM-Los Alamos helped make a dream come true for residents of Delancey Street. At its residential center located near Alcalde, N.M., Delancey Street helps men and women gain skills to get their lives together. Previously, there was no ceremony to celebrate graduation from Delancey’s GED program.

“The college was kind enough to offer us a spot for our graduation,” explained Bill Tsurnos, assistant administrator, Delancey Street. “Having a graduation gives our students a sense of accomplishment.” UNM-LA also provided caps and gowns.

Delancey Street wanted to reciprocate that generosity. They decided that a ropero, or wardrobe, to store the caps and gowns would be a fitting gift. This handsome piece of Spanish Colonial style furniture is currently on display upstairs at the UNM-LA Library. Also housed there is UNM-LA’s Southwest Collection.

The ropero was built by three Delancey Street residents. Tomas Archuleta was the designer, George Saunders did the carving and Michael Dealy was the builder. The ropero was built at Delancey’s woodshop, where residents raise money for the organization through a custom furniture business. This is one of several businesses residents run to support Delancey Street. As another gift from Delancey Street, residents in the culinary arts program will cater the UNM-LA Spring Fund-raising Dinner April 30.

Earning a GED is required for Delancey Street residents who do not have a high school diploma, Tsurnos said. Residents mentor each other in all of Delancey’s programs, including GED.

UNM-LA provides Delancey Street with instructional materials, including software and books and does placement testing for the program. The UNM-LA staff also assists Delancey Street in helping individuals with learning disabilities to succeed in the program.

Delancey Street was founded about 30 years ago by Mimi Silbert and her partner, the late John Maher, himself an ex-felon and former drug addict. Residents make a two-year commitment to the program, but they can stay as long as they need to. Tsurnos came to Delancey Street 10 years ago.

“I thoroughly appreciated what Delancey Street had done for me and I wanted to pass that on to others,” he said. “Usually people come to Delancey Street when they’ve hit rock bottom, and that was the case with me,” said Tsurnos, who earned his GED at Delancey Street and now attends UNM-LA.

UNM-LA plans to partner with Delancey GED graduates to offer tutoring to inmates at Los Alamos County Jail in the near future.