Terror Town, USA
Top administrators from New Mexico Tech and Phelps Dodge Corporation signed off this past summer on a $5 million real estate transaction that made New Mexico Tech the only university known to literally own an entire town.
Negotiations between New Mexico Tech and Phelps Dodge to purchase the 640-acre township, along with its 259 homes, six apartment buildings, various community facilities, and surrounding 1,200 acres, had been ongoing for more than a year and a half. New Mexico Tech is now in the process of fully converting Playas into one of the nation’s premier locations for anti-terrorism and first responders training.
“New Mexico Tech is now able to look forward to initiating a whole range of research activities and training programs in and around Playas that will directly support homeland security efforts, not only at the state and national levels, but on a global basis as well,” said New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López.
Initial plans call for the town to be used as a “real-world” training center for the research university’s training program in prevention and response to suicide bombings and other related programs.
Real estate developers will appreciate the deal in which the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to lease the new Playas Training Center for $20 million a year over the next five years to train first responders in "real world" environments.
Officials from New Mexico State University and New Mexico Tech have agreed to cooperate in developing training and research projects in Playas, NM. Tech bought it for first-responder and anti-terrorism training. New Mexico State will focus on training and research to protect the food supply against agroterrorism.
For more information, see: Playas Training Center Brochure pdf or Playas Training Center Overview pdf.