Juniper Hall may still be under construction, but New Mexico State University students were able to move in on time, Friday Aug. 16, 2019.
Bethany Freudenthal, Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces was filled with activity Friday as students moved into their dorms for the beginning of the fall semester. 

At Juniper Hall, students were especially excited for their move-in day, because last weekend they were told construction on the new $21.5 million dorm, that has the capacity to house 301 students plus nine resident advisers, might not be completed in time. 

As a contingency plan, the school made other, temporary on-campus housing arrangements for Juniper Hall’s 235 residents. But university officials announced Wednesday the dorm earned its occupancy certificate and students could start moving in Friday.

However, students can expect to see workers on-site for the next few weeks as finishing touches are completed. Areas of the building that still require work include common spaces such as classrooms, the main lobby and exterior landscaping. 

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Juniper Hall resident Alexis Hein, a kinesiology student from Lovington, said she “angry cried” when campus representatives called with news of the construction delays last week, but when they called to tell her she’d be able to move in on time, she “screamed” in jubilation.

“I probably hurt that girl’s ears,” Hein said. “I felt bad, but I was so excited, so excited.”

Jenna Dunkeson said she has a passion for helping others, so she came from Albuquerque to NMSU to major in pre-nursing. She was happy with her new dorm in Juniper Hall.

“I love everything in it,” she said. 


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Brehnan Davis, from Artesia, who plans to major in engineering, said she was a little frustrated about the possibility of not being able to move into Juniper Hall on time, but she said she knew everything would work out. She said she was really excited when she got the news she’d be able to move in. 

Her goals for her freshman year of college? 

“To make new friends and make good grades,” she said. 

The first day of instruction is Wednesday, Aug. 21. 

Juniper Hall is located north of Corbett Center, and that site has been a residence hall since 1964. The first residence hall at that site was called Women’s Residence Center, later renamed Monagle Hall. Monagle was decommissioned in the fall of 2013 and demolished in 2017. 

School officials said Juniper Hall was originally scheduled to be turned over to the university on June 15, and construction complete by July 24. 

The construction of Juniper Hall is within budget, officials said.

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Bethany Freudenthal can be reached at, 575-541-5449 or @bethanyfreuden1 on Twitter. 

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