Gateway Center opening set for early June

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Gateway Center in Albuquerque has hit roadblock after roadblock. Voters approved nearly $14 million to get the project going back in 2019.

The latest roadblock was nearly a month ago, when asbestos were discovered in the building – what used to be the old Lovelace hospital on Gibson.

City officials said that phase one of construction is expected to be done in late May. That includes common area spaces, on-site case management spots, and some places for overnight beds. City reps also said the first installments are expected to open in early June.

The asbestos reportedly affected about 20% of the phase one area they are working on. KOB 4 reached out multiple times to different city departments, but could not get an interview this week.

Maia Rodriguez, the marketing manager for the city’s Environmental Health Department, shared the following statement:

“Any commercial business undergoing renovation is required to notify EHD for an inspection for asbestos containing material. EHD was not properly notified in order to conduct such a survey at the Gateway. EHD inspected the area in question on March 3, 2023 and will submit its report later this week. Any necessary violations will be issued in the final report.

Phase one construction scheduled for completion in May includes the Housing Navigation Center, a low-barrier and trauma informed space with overnight beds, a common area, and on-site case management to help clients attain stable housing.”

Reps said the asbestos areas have been treated, but if there were any violations, the city said we’ll see those in a report sometime this week by the Environmental Health Department.

KOB 4 reached out to Mayor Tim Keller’s office and no one was available for an on-camera interview. We got a statement from the Family and Community Services Department, talking about the next steps for the project – including construction on the medical sobering center.

Katie Simon with the city’s Family and Community Services Department shared the following statement:

“The Gateway Center will be a game changer for our community, bringing critical resources to the whole region to help people exit homelessness. Despite the challenges that come along with bringing a project of this size to fruition, the City and our provider look forward to welcoming clients into the first completed space in June. Construction will start soon on the Medical Sobering center, the next key piece of the Gateway project to fill a needed gap in resources for people facing addiction. As the services of the Gateway continue to come online, this facility will be a place of hope and healing for all who need it.”