ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A long-running renovation at a South Valley park is one step closer to being completed after the Bernalillo County Commission gave the green light for the next phase forward this week. “It’s very exciting,” said John Barney, Planning Manager for Bernalillo County’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Department. “It’s amazing just to see these pieces coming together.”

He’s helped oversee all the renovations at Tom Tenorio Park, a renovation project dating back at least to 2017. “Most of this was undeveloped. When we’re done the entire space will be developed and it will finally be its full regional self, that’s the most exciting,” he said.

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Barney said so far, about $8 million has been invested in renovating this park. The renovations completed so far include three new fields, batting cages, drainage facilities, and an eco-parking lot, in which all of the parking lot is paved except for the actual parking spots. Barney said this prevents car oil and exhaust from under cars from getting into the water system.

Now, the project is continuing to move forward after the county commission approved Phase 2B of the construction to begin. The county said this is a big investment in an area that historically has fallen by the wayside. “Not that we can go back in history and fix things, but what we can do is what we can do now, and we’ve put about 60% of our capital dollars have gone just to facility here including this one,” said Barney. “To me, it feels like that’s making a difference in a number of levels.”

This next phase will cost another $5 million with most of that coming from federal ARPA funds. This phase will include another eco-parking lot, an RV parking lot for overnight tournaments, renovating a fourth field, and increasing lighting and fencing. Barney hopes to have this phase completed by the summer of next year. “The best thing for me is when you see people playing especially kids out there doing their thing. just playing and enjoying life,” said Barney.

After this, there will be one more phase to complete. The county hopes to have the entire park renovation completed in the next few years.