City of Santa Fe Board of Adjustment approves New Mexico School for the Arts for educational uses at Sanbusco Market Center Economic Study shows School’s positive Impact on Economy, Academic Success

(February 3, 2016) Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe City Board of Adjustment approved the New Mexico School for the Arts’ (NMSA) request for a special use permit to relocate in the former Sanbusco Market Center. Among the reasons cited for the approval was the release of a recently completed economic impact study that looked at the 10-year impact of the school’s proposed new permanent campus in downtown Santa Fe. “NMSA is not only re-purposing and revitalizing the Sanbusco Center; the NMSA expansion will increase retail occupancy rates elsewhere in Santa Fe. NMSA will provide a world class environment where students from all over the New Mexico can be prepared for a career in the arts and where NMSA student performances can enrich an already vibrant arts and culture sector,” according to Fabian Trujillo, Santa Fe Economic Division Director.
In its sixth year of operation, NMSA is the only arts-focused public high school in New Mexico with a Residential Program that offers youth across the state access to its unique educational blend of mastery arts and rigorous academic programming—is expanding to allow for full enrollment.
O’Donnell Economics & Strategy conducted the study, led by Kelly O’Donnell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics and Senior Research Fellow at the University of New Mexico. The study found that NMSA, at full enrollment in its new home (with 300 students), will generate:
–$5.9 million in annual economic activity
–$3.1 million in annual labor income
–128 jobs
When combined with the employment, tax, and expenditure revenues related to the renovation-construction necessary to enable the school to reach full enrollment, the 10-year economic output estimate rises to 291 jobs and $10.1 million in labor income. Additional economic output factors such as new visitors, students living and studying in the area, student families, college recruiters, public performances, and other funding NMSA draws into Santa Fe, raises the economic output projection of the school over the next ten years to $80.3 million.
“I want to thank the City of Santa Fe Board of Adjustment for recognizing that this new permanent campus at the Sanbusco site will allow us to provide high quality education and training for more New Mexico student artists, and have a strong positive economic impact for the Santa Fe community. We are proud to be a top public school, an outstanding art institute and an economic engine that is stimulating and enhancing the state’s artistic culture,” said Riis Gonzales, NMSA-Art Institute Director.
“Our main focus at New Mexico School for the Arts is student success. Regardless of background, every student has the opportunity to academically succeed and achieve artistic mastery, which makes us a leader in closing the achievement gap. That has been our driving force for six years, and it will continue as we take on this expansion,” says Cindy Montoya, NMSA Head of School.
NMSA has a proven record of student achievement, having received four consecutive A grades from the New Mexico Public Education Department. In 2015, the school was named the tenth best high school in New Mexico by US News & World Report, and one of the best high schools in the country by Newsweek for its success in closing the “achievement gap.” Additionally, NMSA has an overall graduation rate of 86 percent and in 2015 the graduation rate was 100 percent.
NMSA is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year! The deadline for applications is February 5, 2016. Visit www.nmschoolforthearts.org for more information.
NMSA provides access to a rigorous mastery arts and academic high school education for youth with passion and aptitude in the arts, leading to post-secondary learning, careers in the arts, and lives that contribute to society. NMSA offers pre-professional instruction in the performing and visual arts and rigorous academics leading to a high school diploma. NMSA is currently located in the former St. Francis Cathedral School, 275 East Alameda in Santa Fe. For more information, visit: www.NMSchoolForTheArts.org.