Students proposing theater district

Students of the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture and Planning are proposing a downtown theater district in Tucumcari.

The proposal presented Friday in Tucumcari includes the renovation of the Princess Theater's facade and eventually the interior.

In a joint effort with the New Mexico Mainstreet program, UNM students study a selected community to identify assets and challenges and uncover strategies that build upon the region's history and existing strengths, said Elmo Blea, Mainstreet historic program associate.

The projects known as DPAC's start as proposals and do not happen over night said Will Powell, UNM architect program associate.

QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia

Residents review proposals hung on the walls at city hall developed by University of New Mexico Architecture students.

Powell said each project takes several years of planning and developing before they are construction ready.

The students with DPAC are currently working with NM Mainstreet organizations in Clovis and Tucumcari to explore the redevelopment potential of their historic downtown theaters.

The proposal outline uses spaces located at the front of the building as rentable storefronts and creates a lobby with a bar and space for local artist works to be displayed.

One point of the outline called for the renovation and restoration of the theater stage area in order to host musical venues.

Those who attended showed the proposal at city hall showed a great deal of interest in the designs and proposed district, said Mark Lake, director of Tucumcari Mainstreet.

Lake said an example of a project that has shown great improvement and grew out of an earlier DPAC study, is the Tucumcari train depot.

Lake said the New Mexico Economic Development department of the NM Mainstreet paid for development and presentation of proposals.

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