ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A massive new facility near southwest Albuquerque will soon be the new training ground for Bernalillo County’s firefighters and law enforcement. The idea is to have firefighters and sheriff deputies train side-by-side, so they’re ready to serve side-by-side.

“It’s a training facility that’s going to be put together that is a cooperative training facility between Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and Bernalillo County Fire Department,” says spokesperson Lt. Robert Arguelles, from the Bernalillo County Fire Department. “We’re going to be training most of the public safety services out of this out of this one training academy.”

The still under construction building near the intersection of Rio Bravo and Broadway boulevards is hard to miss. It’s over 41,000 square feet, and all that space will give both the fire department and the sheriff’s office plenty of room to hone their skills.

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Images of the soon-to-be training facility and the old Bernalillo County Fire Department training facility (red container tower and tan building)

The facility will be host cadet training academies for both departments. But it won’t be just for cadets. Both the Sheriff’s Office and Bernalillo County Fire will also use the space for continued training for more experienced first responders as well, according to Arguelles.

The county doesn’t own the facility, but has entered a rental agreement, according to public contracts. The county has agreed to pay more than $115,000 per month to rent the space, contracts show, and the developer must have the property ready to go by November of this year.

The facility is being built to meet “Green Globes” standards, meaning the facility is designed with the environment in mind. The County’s plan is to lease the space for 30 years. And since the space is just a rental, the landlord – not Bernalillo County – has to manage maintenance and repairs, according to 2022 annual fiscal report by the County.

Currently, Bernalillo County Fire has training equipment just down the road, south of the new building. The existing equipment includes a stack of storage containers cadets can use to run drills and training exercises. Arguelles says that container tower and equipment will be relocated to the new facility.