About Rio Rancho Campus

Side view of a building with many windows at sunset, photo.The CNM Rio Rancho Campus opened in August 2010.

The Campus was made possible after voters approved expanding CNM’s taxing district to include all of Rio Rancho in 2007.  

The Rio Rancho Campus offers a range of courses in the following program areas:

  • General Education 
  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Teacher Education

The Campus and the Community

The city of Rio Rancho, incorporated in 1980, covers 73.4 square miles and has an elevation of 5,679 feet.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, its population had grown 69% since the 2000 Census to a total of 87,521, making it the third most populous city population in New Mexico.  The residents of Rio Rancho accounted for two-thirds of the 2010 Sandoval County population of 131,561.

The 62,000-square-foot CNM Rio Rancho campus recently became the largest higher education building in the State of New Mexico to earn the Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

Campus construction consisted of twenty-four percent recycled materials and materials that were manufactured within 500 miles of the campus. In addition, the paints, adhesives and sealants in the building generate little to no chemical emissions. Geothermal wells under the campus provide the majority of energy used for the heating and cooling systems.

The groundwater that is drawn from 300-foot depths consistently stays at a temperature of 68 degrees, helping to cool the building in the summer and heat it in the winter. Natural daylight provides seventy-five percent of the lighting for campus buildings during daytime hours. Low-flow water systems have reduced water consumption by forty-nine percent and other measures have reduced energy consumption by forty-eight percent compared with standard buildings.