ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and city officials held a press conference on Monday to discuss the local coronavirus response and broke ground on the new Singing Arrow Community Center. The City of Albuquerque also announced the implementation of a new digital film permitting process online at the Film Office.
Mayor Keller reminded residents that the governor’s health order is now in effect allowing retailers to operate at 25% capacity. Additionally, all residents must wear face coverings in public.
Free COVID-19 testing is taking place on Monday, May 18 in the International District from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cesar Chavez Community Center. No appointment or insurance is needed.
New Mexico MVD offices reopen on June 1 on an appointment only basis.
Keller touched on the film industry saying that prior to the virus outbreak, the industry was making large strides through its agreements with Netflix and NBCUniversal. Keller stated that the film industry has been driving the local economy and while filming has been temporarily halted due to the virus, the city is now taking steps to make the permitting process easier.
The new process aims to modernize and streamline the film permit process in order to better support the increase in filming the City of Albuquerque Film Office has recently experienced. The Film Office saw over a 50% increase in permits from 292 in 2018 to 448 in 2019.
The new permitting system is now available at the City of Albuquerque’s Film Office webpage.
Singing Arrow Community Center
Mayor Keller, Councilor Don Harris and other Albuquerqueofficials broke ground on the site of the future Singing Arrow Community Center located behind the Four Hills Shopping Center. Mayor Keller called the location of the center crucial, saying the area is one of the top five most densely populated regions of the city.
Construction on the project will take about 440 days and is expected to be complete by August 2021. The cost of the project is $5.6 million which will come from the state and GO Bonds.
The 15,000 square foot building will have a fitness room, game room, computer room, warming kitchen, and craft room. It will also be a hub for the city’s newer Tijeras Arroyo Open Space and a nearby archaeological site.
This new center is being built very close to where the current center is located. The new center will bookend the site, which includes a currnt city park and future city open space. The current community center will remain following the completion of the new center.
The project has been fast-tracked as a result of COVID-19 and the city’s Department of Municipal Development says it’s able to start the project four to five months faster than normal. The time savings is a result of fast-tracking timelines for work and administrative approvals according to Keller.