More campus improvements planned


Includes High Altitude Events Center

Adams State will soon begin another $12.7 million worth of campus additions and renovations, including a new High Altitude Events Center, according to President David Svaldi. At its Feb. 9 meeting, the college’s Board of Trustees approved bond financing to continue residence hall renovation and develop facilities for the college’s expanding athletics program.

The financing includes $6.9 million to renovate three wings in the Coronado and Girault residence halls, as well as $3 million to construct the High Altitude Events Center. An additional total of $2.77 million will support:

  • Development of a baseball complex
  • First phase renovation of the East Campus (formerly Evans School) to house the Human Performance & Physical Education Department
  • Renovation in Plachy Hall to create more locker rooms and meeting rooms
  • Repair of the Plachy Hall parking lot

This past year, Adams State completed $62 million worth of campus improvements, including a new student apartment/football stadium complex, campus green, renovation of the Music Building and McDaniel Hall, and expanded campus parking.

New athletics programs boost Adams State enrollment

Adams State has added 15 new competitive athletics programs in the last three years. "Roughly one-third of our undergraduate students participate in at least one sports program," Svaldi noted. "The new programs have aided our recent enrollment growth and are also helping to improve student retention." National and Adams State statistics show student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than non-athletes.

Over the last three years, Adams State has added or reintroduced the following NCAA and competitive recreational programs, in addition to developmental teams in men's and women's basketball and soccer, and women's softball:


  • Men's & women's golf
  • Men's & women's swimming & diving
  • Men's & women's soccer
  • Men's & women's lacrosse
  • Men's baseball – begins spring 2013

Competitive recreational sports (begin fall 2012)

  • Men's & women's rugby
  • Rodeo
  • Spirit Squad
  • Stunt
  • Triathlon

Adams State Athletic Director Larry Mortensen said he expects the upcoming new programs to attract 285 students over the next two years. Student-athletes currently total about 600, he added. In addition, enrollment in the college's HPPE program has doubled since 2008, and it is now Adams State's second most popular major.

High Altitude Training Center

The 85,000 square-foot High Altitude Training Center will be located immediately west of the Plachy parking lot on Sunset. The facility will be a "bubble" – an air-supported dome structure made of vinyl coated polyester fabric – which costs less than half the estimate for constructing a traditional building, according to van de Boogaard.

The center will feature a 200-meter, 8-lane track with a synthetic rubber surface that provides high quality shock absorption, skid resistance, force reduction, and overall comfort for athletes. The center will also have ample space for jumps, vaults, and throwing events, as well as spectator seating, and public restrooms. A state-of-the-art auto timing device and timing scoreboard will be installed.

Adams State's Cross Country and Track & Field program is one of the most successful collegiate programs in the entire nation. Together, they hold 43 team national championships and have produced more than one thousand all-America student athletes, as well as hundreds of Academic All-Americans.

Recent enrollment growth has increased space demands on Adams State's 20,000 square-foot Plachy Hall Field House, constructed in 1968. Its indoor track is in very poor condition, and it can no longer support the current level of use, van de Boogaard said. Budget limitations prevented overhaul of the field house when Plachy Hall was renovated in 2008. All sports programs use the field house for winter and cold weather training. The new center will ease demand on the existing field house by providing practice areas for football, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, and baseball, in addition to track and field. The new facility will also be used by the HPPE Department.

The High Altitude Event Center will allow Adams State to host RMAC and NCAA regional and national meets, as well as SLV high school indoor track meets and other conference activities and special events. In recent years, Adams State has hosted major meets in Albuquerque facilities.

Sharing the benefits of high altitude training

The center will also host the new High Altitude Training Program, beginning this June, which introduces participants to training at altitude and the physiological benefits it provides. The curriculum includes mountain training. Instruction will be given by Adams State's 29-time National Coach of the Year, Damon Martin, who is head coach for men's and women's cross country and track; and his legendary predecessor, Dr. Joe I. Vigil, considered by many as one of the western hemisphere's best clinicians of physiology and track and field.

"There is no other program like this in the country," said Center Coordinator Virginia Coindreau, a former Adams State All American and national champion runner. "While there are numerous high altitude training centers in the US and around the world, they have only been open to the elite distance runner."

Fifty participants are registered for the program's inaugural year, and enrollment is expected to increase to at least 150 in the next two years.

Get more information on the High Altitude Training Program

By Julie Waechter