ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is in the process of moving more than 800 of its 2,600 employees into its new headquarters at Alvarado Square in Downtown Albuquerque. The county is consolidating a few of its offices into an eight-story building. Everyone is expected to be fully moved in by the second week of August. The county said the move will make it easier for the public to utilize county services.

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“If you had somebody who had to come downtown to visit with the Assessor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office, they had to go to two separate buildings. Whereas now that we’re consolidated into this building, you walk into the building and on the first floor you have the assessor and the treasurer right next to each other, That’s a really big deal,” said Tia Bland, communication services director for Bernalillo County. The new building also has a free parking lot designated for constituents coming to the building.

Right now, county employees are either back at the office or are in the process of coming back to the office. Employees who will work at Alvarado Square will come back to the office depending on their move-in date to the building. While employees are coming back to the office, the county is adopting a new, teleworking policy. It will allow some positions to work up to two days a week from home.

“The county did not have a telework policy prior to COVID. And when COVID hit, I think that the management and even the employees learned that they could take care of the county’s business and operations while you know working from home,” said Bland. “It’s not an automatic thing for every employee but the county felt like it was really kind of a necessary thing to do to modernize how we recruit and how we retain our employees by offering this. And it is a privilege, not a right.”

Currently, most county services are reopening. Some services, like the Assessor’s Office, are closed to the public but have a walk-up window. Other services like the County Clerk’s Office and Treasurer’s Office are also closed to the public but available by phone or online. The county expects all services to return to normal when the move to Alvarado Square is complete. The new building will open to the public on August 16 at 8 a.m.

Earlier this year, county commissioners approved selling old properties to help offset the cost of the move. The project is estimated to cost nearly $68 million.