Dane Smith Hall
Dane Smith Hall is a 89,000-square-foot, multipurpose classroom building built in the heart of campus to meet the university’s rapidly growing demand for general education meeting rooms. It was the first general education classroom built at UNM since 1950, making the need for this building necessary at its time of construction. Dane Smith Hall was the first building built under the new campus Master Plan, an effort still alive today to keep the University of New Mexico modern and competative with other major universities. It was built with an outdoor amphitheater decorated with native plants from the area. The interior contains a three story, open atrium that serves as a student common area with a cafe, copy center, and open seating throughout.
Dane Smith Hall has a seating capacity of about 2,000 students across all classrooms. The building contains sixteen large classrooms containing 56 seats, thirteen smaller classrooms seating 25, three computer classrooms, two containing 25 seats and one containing 40, four television classrooms containing 40 seats, two small lecture halls seating 100 each, and one large lecture class with 162 seats. Each of these classrooms are equipped with projectors. televisions, and campus network connections in order to create a state of the art building that UNM desperately needed at the time. Dane Smith Hall hosts all types of classes including mathematics, political science, signed language, to name a few. A majority of undergarduates attending UNM will take at least one core class at Dane Smith Hall.
Initial plans for Dane Smith Hall began in 1996, when the board of regents at UNM voted to begin building a new multipurpose classroom to help compensate the large volume of students attending the university. Construction was delayed multiple times due to arguments over the cost of the new building and relocations of the patrons living on the land that hosted Dane Smith before it came to be. Initial construction of the building began a year later on March 1, 1997. The building was finished and ready for use by the fall semester of 1998. When Dane Smith Hall was completed, Roma Avenue was demolished, no longer going through to Yale Boulevard. This connection was replaced with the large round-a-bout at the end of Yale that is now a staple of campus, being used constantly throughout the year.
Before becoming home to one of the most widely used buildings on campus, the land hosting Dane Smith Hall was home to a small neighborhood. Within this neighborhood lived various professors at UNM. Dane Farnsworth Smith, the namesake of Dane Smith Hall, lived in a small house with his wife in this neighborhood. He is one of many professors from this small neighborhood to have a building on campus named after him. These professors include Coach Johnson (Johnson Gym), Professor Clark (Clark hall), and Stuart Northrop (Northrop Hall).
Hooker, Van Dorn, Melissa Howard, and V. B Price. Only in New Mexico: An Architectural History of the University of New Mexico: The First Century, 1889-1989. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2000.
University of New Mexico. Dept. of Facility Planning Records, 1889-, Collection UNMA 028, Box 96. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.