NMHU Trolley Barn

Owner: New Mexico Highlands University
Location: Las Vegas, New Mexico
Architect: Baker Architecture + Design


The historic Las Vegas Trolley Barn is the new home to the New Mexico Highlands University Department of Media Arts & Technology. The 105 year old sandstone building originally served as the headquarters for the town’s trolley system but had fallen into disrepair as the trolley was abandoned for the automobile. The once impressive building had been reduced to only its stone walls by the effects of nature.

The renovation of the historic building required that the existing stone walls remain in place while the new structure was built into them. To do this, Franken Construction used an advanced shoring method, bracing all of the walls from the outside as well as at the top of each wall. This allowed the team to proceed with the grade beams, MEP rough-in, and concrete work with the walls standing without any structural risks or issues.

Franken Construction proactively verified the subgrade properties and noticed it was highly saturated. Our team worked closely with the design professional and structural engineer to develop the design for a raft slab over cobble to support this building since that was a more cost-effective option than pumping the water and implementing on-going water reduction measures.