ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What started as just a vision of a pool 20 years ago is becoming much more. The North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center on Wyoming near Paseo del Norte is finally coming to life after site plans were approved by the city’s Environmental Planning Commission last week. Both indoor and outdoor pools are included in the plans.
“The last part of it that’s left on that master plan is really to make sure that we build out the aquatic center that people have been wanting,” Albuquerque City Councilor Brook Bassan said.
Bassan said it’s been a top priority since she took office in 2020.
“When I was campaigning, it was one of the top three things that people at every door would say was a priority of theirs was, ‘When are we getting our pool?'”
Over the years, the cost to build something like this has only grown.
Two decades ago, it was a few million. Now, Bassan said it’s going to cost nearly $50 million, and she claimed will only get more expensive if the city keeps waiting,
“The last number I had as a goal was $32 million and just in the last year or two alone, just after COVID and the significant rise in inflation, now, we’re at nearly $50 million.”
As of now, Bassan said they don’t have all the money but are close. They have almost $40 million set aside, and Albuquerque voters will decide in November if the pool should get $5 million more. Bassan wants to get construction going before then. “There’s no reason, in my opinion, why we need to wait until we have all $50 million before we start moving dirt.”
Bassan said she hopes the city will break ground on the aquatic center by September with construction taking up to 18 months.