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Mesalands Community College buys National Guard Armory

It has been years in the making, but Mesalands Community College officially received the keys to a closed armory building in Tucumcari. (ABC 7 Amarillo - Lia Kamana)

It has been years in the making, but Mesalands Community College officially received the keys to a closed armory building in Tucumcari.

The keys were passed from the New Mexico National Guard to the college in a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8.

Receiving the building is a big step towards new opportunities for Mesalands.

"I’m excited about what this makes possible for us in terms of the growth and the development strategically of the college," said Dr. John Groesbeck, President of Mesalands Community College.

The college plans to use the building as an athletics complex and student center.

"I'm really tempted to say something like, Are you ready to rumble," exclaimed Groesbeck during his speech to those in attendance. "I can see them trotting out and breaking the tape."

Mesalands is currently talking to the NJCAA. Golf, track and field, ranch rodeo, and women's volleyball are just some of the sports teams folks may soon be seeing.

The complex will also be available for intramural sports, which the college currently doesn't have many facilities for.

Cade White, a freshman in the Electrical Wind Energy Program, is excited about what the building means for the college too.

"It’s just really cool that the school is growing more and more, almost every year it feels like. Eventually this school is going to be really, really popular in the future and it already is," said White. "People from countries all over the world come to study at Mesalands."

The armory was built in the late 1980's, but has been vacant for years.

"We have been striving, working with the leaders here in Tucumcari and Quay County to find a solution," said Major General Kenneth A. Nava, the Adjutant General for the State of New Mexico.

The College and the Armory Board worked out a deal so that the school could acquire the facility for $1.00, and now the 21,540-square-foot building and it's 7.86-acres will sit idle no longer.

"It’s a bittersweet day because I don’t have National Guard members stationed here any longer, but we know this facility is going to go to good use," said Nava.

Mesalands Community College plans to have the armory open to students in the fall of 2020.

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