NMHU - Lora Shields Science Center Renovation

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 science labs.

The remodel was designed to attain LEED Silver certification.

A variety of green practices were implemented, including water catchment systems, photovoltaic energy systems, efficient glazing, recycled and regional materials & finishes, solar shading devices, 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, he saw the 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.


The Lora Shields Building was also chosen as a 2011 Outstanding Design by the American School & University magazine, and was profiled in the 2011 issue of the American School & University Architectural Portfolio.


Sq Ft: 20,200

Completion Date: 02/21/2011

Owner: New Mexico Highlands University

Architect: Soleil West

Location: Las Vegas, NM

WSCI Staff

Raul Ruiz

Phone: 575-430-7749