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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — An honest human mistake is costing thousands of dollars at New Mexico State University after items belonging to the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium were unknowingly thrown in the trash.
The Consortium had been using a section of Wells Hall for storage but university staff unknowingly trashed all of the items inside totaling about $39,000 to clear space.
"We recovered a number of things but about 90 percent of what was disposed of is gone," said New Mexico Space Grant Consortium Executive Director Dr. Pat Hynes.
Hynes explained the problem appears to have been in record keeping with university files showing the unit was being used by the civil engineering department.
Hynes said most of the items in storage were for the annual symposium and ranged from banners, display areas and other miscellaneous items.
But there were also a number of canisters used to house projects sent to outer space.
Hynes does not anticipate their work will be impacted but they will have to replace all the items before their annual symposium scheduled in October.
The items were paid for initially with grant funding but the incident will not affect the status of those grants.
The university has pledged to repay the amount lost.
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