FARMINGTON — Representatives from BP were on hand at the San Juan College board meeting Tuesday to present an additional $1 million in funding for the college's new School of Energy project.

The oil company was following up on a pledge to donate an additional $1 million when the San Juan College Foundation raised $3 million in funding for the $15 million project.

Julia Levy, director of government and public affairs for BP America, was on hand to present a check during the board meeting.

Levy said she was excited to see all the partners in the project come together and help fund the facility.

"To see this come to a realization, we are very proud and very excited," Levy said. BP initially pledged $4 million in August 2012 for the project.

About $5 million has come from state appropriations. Donations from Merrion Oil and Gas, the Westmeath Foundation, the Dugan family, ConocoPhilips, Arizona Public Service, XTO and D.J. Simmons fill out the rest.

An official ground-breaking ceremony is planned for October. The project schedule calls for a start of construction by February 2014 with a completion date of April 2015.

School of Energy dean Randy Pacheco said he was excited the school didn't have to float any bonds or borrow any more for the project and for the start of design and construction work to begin.


"We'll be moving forward very quickly," Pacheco said. "Weather pending, we are going to push through and get it built as quickly as we can."

The projected 52,553-square-foot building will be located on the north side of the college's main campus, north of the Quality Center for Business off PiƱon Hills and College boulevards.

Classrooms, laboratories, training centers, offices for faculty and staff and related support spaces are included in the building plans.

The site development plan also includes exterior hands-on simulation class labs and parking.

Operations at the School of Energy building, located at 800 S. Hutton Rd., and two other off campus sites will use the facility.The project was approved on July 10 by the New Mexico Higher Education Department during a capital project review and approval meeting. In the meeting minutes, the project was approved contingent on two actions.

The actions required of the college were related to finding and documenting "donated or non-state funding sources."

Rhonda Schaefer, college marketing and public relations director, said the college sent a letter on July 26 naming the private funding sources and confirming the intent of the foundation and college to use current and future fund balance for construction costs while the private pledges were still outstanding.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.