Mesalands ready to buy turbine

By Thomas Garcia

Mesalands Community College will be moving one step closer towards the opening of The North American Wind Research and Training Center (NAWRTC) today.

“Our attorneys will review the bids (today) and tell us which one we should move forward with,” said Phillip O. Barry during an update of the institute’s progress at college’s monthly board of trustees meeting on Tuesday.

The attorneys will be reviewing the bids received for the purchase of a 1.5 megawatt turbine for the NAWRTC, Barry said.
Barry also advised the board that representatives from Mesalands traveled to Iowa Lakes Community College to see its wind research program first-hand. The program has been operating for three years.

“The purpose of our trip was observe their program of commercial turbine training,” said Barry. “Iowa Lakes has agreed to share their industrial contacts for equipment acquisitions and their wind energy curriculum with Mesalands. We wanted to reaffirm what we have been trying to do here at Mesalands … and see if what we wanted to do was realistic.”

Other items brought before the board and approved were:
• Approval of the Building Trades, Liberal Arts and Wind Energy certificates and degrees.
“The … system for these programs will be user-friendly to the student,” said Barry. “A student can take the basics and go right out and work, then return at a later time for further education.”
• Approval of an upgrade of the Sonis system for $80,500 to the Sonisweb system, a software package and service that serves as an Internet technology department and that also allows college staff and students to access information from remote locations.
l Approval of the restricted and unrestricted budget adjustment request to show changes from 2006 to 2007.
l Acknowledgement and approval of Mesalands financial statements by the New Mexico Higher Education Department.
l Increased tuition and fees.