State leaders announce development in North Domingo Baca Park progress
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After more than 20 years, the North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center is finally moving forward.
“Families right now from Las Cruces and from Farmington, are traveling to Arizona and Texas for competitive swimming. And now doesn’t make any sense,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham was one of several lawmakers in attendance Wednesday as they announced the next steps for the center.
“We’re in what we’re calling phase zero, which is also the site prep phase. So there’s a retaining wall being built, which is very significant, and making sure that the foundation is created properly,” said City Councilor Brook Bassan.
Bassan says once that phase is done, construction can begin on the facility, but there’s another step in between.
“The administration is making sure to put out the request for proposal next week, so that companies can start bidding on whether or not and if they want to make sure to construct this facility, and then the city will make sure to choose which construction company will be the one to do that. Once the project begins. I’m hopeful, and I’ve been told it should take about 18 months for completion,” Bassan said.
Bassan says the entire process will likely take a couple of years. But neighbors told KOB 4 they’re excited after not knowing if the project would ever take off.
“I am so excited to see motion on this. We’ve been waiting for more than two decades for this project to happen. I really give everyone across the city and the state, and the communities and the neighbors such a pat on the back because it took a whole village to pull this off,” said Kelly Harrell who lives near North Domingo Baca Park.
“There’s such a relief that the project is underway, and that there’s a timeline and a plan of attack, we think that there’s gonna be a great opportunity for the neighborhood community to benefit, for the state to benefit overall, and to put Albuquerque on the map as a swimming hub,” said Nicki Cruz, another person who lives near North Domingo Baca Park.
The aquatic center is expected to have an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a diving pool, a heated indoor pool and seating that could hold up to 850 people.
Once bidding opens next week, there will be a 30-day bid window. So there’s definitely some movement on this project, although we won’t be jumping in the pool any time soon.