News Column

Project complete - Bayard Community Center newly renovated

August 22, 2014

By Susan Dunlap, Silver City Sun-News, N.M.

Aug. 22--SILVER CITY -- Several communities in Grant County held dedication ceremonies Thursday to celebrate the completion of large municipal projects funded by the USDA Rural Development Office. At the celebration of one of the projects, the renovated community center in Bayard, various local dignitaries attended, including State Sen. Howie Morales, D, and State Rep. Rudy Martinez, D.

According to Ernie Watson, a public affairs specialist for the USDA Rural Development Office, the projects the office supported through either grants or loans will serve 6,900 Grant County residents and amounted to approximately $7 million spent in Grant County.

According to Bayard Mayor Charles Kelly, the Bayard Community Center received a much-needed upgrade, thanks to the $85,185 grant Bayard received from the USDA Rural Development Office. The money went toward the installation of new windows and high efficiency coolers, repairs to interior and exterior walls and painting, carpeting of the board room and office, electrical improvements, purchase and installation of kitchen equipment, improvements to the kitchen fire suppression system and ADA sidewalk improvements.

"It's been there 20 or 25 years," Kelly said. "It was past due for a renovation and so we got (the money) and we got it done. It looks really nice. Maybe we can use it for another 25 years."

Kelly said he sees the renovation of the Bayard Community Center as more than just some work on a building. He sees it as helping to build and maintain a sense of place for the residents of Bayard.

"We're building a community," Kelly said.

Kristina Ortiz, Bayard clerk/treasurer, said the Bayard Community Center gets booked for everything from town council meetings to baby showers. Grant County residents have gotten married there. Local schools and Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. officials hold meetings there. Kelly says that outside of the Cobre High School auditorium, the Bayard Community Center is the only place on the east side of the county large enough for most community gatherings.

"It's not only the local people who use it," Kelly said. "It's used by people on the east side of the county, for obvious reasons."

The round of dedication ceremonies got started Thursday with a wastewater treatment facility in North Hurley. According to Ortiz, the new facility serves North Hurley residents and sends their wastewater to the regional wastewater treatment facility in Bayard. The North Hurley facility will serve 1,678 residents, according to Watson.

Later in the day, another dedication ceremony took place in Santa Clara for a project that involved repairing sewer lines with the use of a $230,000 loan and a $1,035,170 colonias grant from the USDA Rural Development Office.

Santa Clara Mayor Richard Bauch said 8,000 feet of sewer line was repaired or replaced. Watson said the replaced lines were 20 to 25 years old. Bauch said Santa Clara was able to replace line that had collapsed and they were able to add 20 new residents to the sewer lines. Bauch called the necessary work a "blessing."

This morning the USDA Rural Development Office will hold a chat session at the Community Center in Tyrone and a final wastewater treatment facility will be dedicated in Tyrone.

Susan Dunlap can be reached at 575-538-5893 ext. 5803.


(c)2014 the Silver City Sun-News (Silver City, N.M.)

Visit the Silver City Sun-News (Silver City, N.M.) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Silver City Sun-News (NM)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters