The problems in Albuquerque’s International District are well-documented, but the city is hoping a new $15-million library will help.
However, KRQE News 13 learned it will be much more than a library.
Along east Central between Charleston and San Pablo, you’ll come across a sign that reads: “Future site of public library,” and you’ll see a giant, open lot.
“This is the site of our new International District library,” said City Councilor Pat Davis. “It’s the old Caravan Nightclub which was a hotspot for crime and problems for a long time, but it’s gonna be a huge new library.”
The lot is five acres. Half of that is designated for the library, the other half is still up in the air.
“Libraries today aren’t the places where you go just to check out a book,” said Davis. “So for a neighborhood like this, what neighbors have told us is how can we help people who are immigrants and refugees use a library to learn English and build their education.”
After a series of community meetings, the locals hope that other half could include things like an amphitheater, solar powered canopies, interactive story walls, an edible garden and more.
“I think the gardening would be okay as long as we have a good fence around it, because, you know, some people like to relax and get rid of stress with gardening,” said local Yolanda Francia. “Something like that would be great for the older people in the neighborhood.”
Locals believe the modern library will help their neighborhood, bringing new life to the troubled area.
“It would help to get jobs, resources, and things like that would be good for the area,” said Francia.
“Libraries always help better your education and they have a lot of benefits towards bringing people together,” said local Gilbert McCole.
The renderings are not the final plans. The city hopes the state legislature will kick in a few million dollars. The city hopes to start construction by next summer.