Albuquerque city councilors are is set to vote Monday on the site plan for a new community center off Tramway and Central.
The plan for a brand new $5.5 million community center at Singing Arrow Park was already given the green light by a committee, but neighbors appealed it, expressing a long list of concerns.
“We feel duped,” Judy Young, who filed the appeal, said. “Instead of getting what we voted for, which was a replacement, renovate and expand the current community center with a real building, we got—the rest of the park is going to be just totally decimated with a new building.”
“I think it’s a waste of money,” neighbor Russell Wilson added.
As KRQE News 13 reported in January, the Environmental Planning Commission approved the new building near the current center. It would be about 15,000 square feet for gaming, fitness and craft rooms, classrooms and more, which City Councilor Don Harris says will be a big benefit to low-income families in the area.
“This is going to be such a great project for the community. We’re really excited. Everyone should be excited,” Harris said.
Neighbors appealing the decision claim children’s safety is being put at risk because of the proximity to the high-traffic bus stop near Wenonah and Tramway.
“That is already a death trap, so now they’re going to make it more of a death trap for children,” Young said.
They add that the new building would ruin a nearby archaeological site.
However, Councilor Harris said the city has already addressed that by contracting with UNM’s archaeological department to manage it.
“The last person who would do any harm to that archaeological site is me or the city,” Harris said.
Harris said he’ll recuse himself from Monday night’s vote. If city council approves the site plan, Harris said construction could start in less than a year. It’s being funded through GO bonds and state money.