Doña Ana County



Doña Ana County will turn over the keys March 1 to two satellite buildings – one in the Village of Doña Ana and the other in west Las Cruces – that will be operated by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Each of the 3,000-square-foot modular buildings will house laboratories, pharmacies, nutrition centers, educational classrooms, administrative areas and reception space, as well as restrooms. Both facilities will be completely handicap-accessible.

Ramona Vallejos, senior grants administrator for the county, said the buildings came about as the result of a grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture, which made available $600,000 nationally for infrastructure related to health care for women, infants and children. Based on the quality of its application, Vallejos said, Doña Ana County received $305,000 of the money – more than half of what was available nationally.

When the grant was awarded, Vallejos said, county officials teamed up with officials from the New Mexico Department of Health to determine the specifications for the structures and the locations in which they would be most widely used.

Basing their recommendations on the usage of an existing mobile health-care unit, the two entities decided to place one building on Elks Road in the village of Doña Ana and the other in west Las Cruces, on Copper Loop, just west of the Doña Ana County Detention Center.

Both areas serve populations with limited accessibility to public transportation. Vallejos said that when the facilities come on line, each is expected to serve between 600 and 800 clients each month.

In addition to providing more consistent service in those areas, Vallejos said, the operation of the two new facilities will free the mobile unit for more frequent stops in other outlying areas, such as Chaparral, Vado, Santa Teresa, Del Cerro, Hatch and, soon, Radium Springs.

A contract for construction and delivery of the buildings was awarded to G.E. Capital Modular Space of Denver. Meanwhile, the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners approved the long-term lease of two one-acre sites for the buildings and the county’s Transportation Department began to make site improvements, engineering assessments and inspections.

The N.M. Department of Health provided matching funds of $95,000 for site-finishing purposes, and County Manager Fernando Macias called the cooperative effort in funding, grant-writing, site preparation and impending service “a great example of two government entities working together to serve the health-care needs of the residents of Doña Ana County.”

Grand openings for the two facilities are scheduled in mid-March. Both buildings are on-site and are in the final process of being readied for opening, Vallejos said.