UNM-Taos College Pathways to Careers Center: A unique place for students to call their own

May 5, 2021



For some first-year college students, a university campus may seem like foreign territory. Beyond going on a tour, they probably haven’t spent any significant amount of time walking the grounds or meeting new people. It can be an anxious and, yet, exciting time in their lives. 

Besides classrooms and labs, where can a student lay down their backpack, interact with other students, and get coursework/research support? And besides special school events, where can students and community members congregate to feel included?

The structure and its purpose
Envisioned as an unconventional, functional, and flexible entry into campus life, on the morning of April 23, golden shovels dug into the earth at UNM-Taos Klauer Campus signaling the construction of the new College Pathways to Careers Center (CPCC) building.

The groundbreakers included: Dr. Cynthia Rooney, Interim Chancellor, UNM-Taos; Dr. Randi Archuleta, Dean of Instruction, UNM-Taos; Larry Franken, vice president, senior superintendent, Franken Construction; Azlynn Franken, project coordinator, Franken Construction; Jason Barela, job site superintendent, Franken Construction; Xavier Armijo, project manager, Franken Construction; Maria Dion, group manager, The University of New Mexico (UNM) Planning Design & Construction (PDC); Sarah Scott, institutional support services, UNM; Jesse Hart, facilities management Engineering, UNM; Nikki Maes, IT, UNM-Taos; and Jessica Sanchez-Romero, project/construction manager, UNM-Taos; and Dan Caruso, architect of record, RMKM Architecture.

“This building is going to be awesome. We needed to move services from downtown — a wanting to consolidate buildings,” said Dr. Archuleta.

This 11,995-gross-square-foot, single story structure will be the new home of the UNM-Taos Library, Southwest Research Center, Acequia Archives, tutoring services, Taos Education and Career Center (TECC), a learning studio, Career Services offices, and other related services.

“It’s an amazing job we’re doing here with the new building,” Sanchez-Romero said. “We’re moving 13,000 square feet from our Civic Plaza Drive campus to Klauer.”

The center is intended to be a resource for integrated learning and living. RMKM Architecture of Albuquerque produced an innovative design that complements the existing architecture at Klauer Campus. (The firm also designed the campus art building.) It utilizes the spatial interactions of form and function, with design elements to create classrooms without walls. The blueprints are void of institutional design concepts seen as barriers to creative education. The design encompasses and supports these concepts by providing areas that support a comfortable mix of activity and interaction with educators, support, and students who can truly feel they own the space. Students will easily flow between spaces — the library to classroom to tutoring areas. Lines between learning and living are blurred, including spaces for studying, eating, resting, and laughing. With open access doors to a courtyard patio and small garden space, an aim is to bring classroom learning outdoors. 

UNM selected Franken Construction as the general contractor. Completion is anticipated to be December 2021.

The UNM-Taos Library serves as a key shared resource for the TECC, Career Services, and Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) participants along with the entire Klauer Campus and the larger Taos community. The facility program is designed to meet the student services, tutoring, learning and study needs of Klauer Campus while inviting the Northern New Mexico community to use and celebrate the culturally valuable Acequia and Southwest Research Center archives. The growth of and new space for UNM-Taos’ archives was championed by the late Sen. Carlos Cisneros. 

All students and community members need study and meeting areas while on campus. The CPCC will provide open meeting and student lounge/study areas to accommodate a range of student study habits including group, individual, quiet study, and tutoring.

Students who have not yet enrolled at UNM-Taos are encouraged to feel that they have a welcoming home base in the center, and that they are part of the larger Klauer Campus community. 

The funding
This project has been funded by the passage of a 2018 GO Bond.

Last July, former Chancellor Dr. Patrick Valdez presented to the Lt. Governor and State Board of Finance to propose the pending construction of the new Pathways building at Klauer Campus. It received unanimous approval to continue moving forward.



GOB 2018


GOB 2018 - UNM-Taos 25% match


2019 State General Fund (SB 280) Acequia Funding


2019 State General Fund (SB 280) Acequia Funding – UNM-Taos 25% match


EGRT 2013 (10% up)




Total Project Budget



The name of the building is not set in stone. A final name will be decided after construction is completed.