RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The vision of a downtown Rio Rancho is getting closer to becoming a reality. It’s now becoming more noticeable that the city is months away from unveiling a new city center.

An amphitheater, a place for food trucks, and even a place to relax. That’s the vision Mayor Gregg Hull has for the new city center, right in front of Rio Rancho’s city hall. “The amphitheater is under full construction right now. You go out there you’ll see the metal construction that’s going on,” says Mayor Hull

Back in 2018, Mayor Hull announced the city was starting to work on building a campus park right at the city center. Included in that park was the idea of an outdoor amphitheater to allow the city to host events, concerts, and outdoor movies. “We are trying to create venues for our citizens to have those recreational opportunities,” says Mayor Hull.

Fast forward to today, the campus park is almost done. Even though the pandemic delayed some of the construction, Mayor Hull says Rio Rancho residents can expect to start using the park this coming summer. “Start hosting and having our own events that help us to start really identifying our own cultural identity that, you know, who is Rio Rancho?” he says.

The campus park cost the city about $3.1 million with money from the general fund and higher education facilities gross receipts tax. Mayor Hull says this outdoor amphitheater will serve as a partner as a nearby Rio Rancho Event Center. He hopes to be able to hold after-hour performances or events there, to keep people entertained during summer nights.

On top of the city center additions, the city is working on building the senior center and Orthopedic Center of Excellence, which will be next to the hospital. While the campus park and the senior center are expected to be complete in the next couple months, Mayor Hull says the orthopedic center will be finished by the beginning of 2022.

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