Cost of Alvarado Square renovation to increase again for proposed furniture costs

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The price tag for Bernalillo County’s new headquarters is rising yet again- this time, by more than half a million dollars. This, after the total project cost more than doubled just last year.

County officials tell KRQE News 13 the additional money is for furniture that they opted to buy sooner rather than later. “We think it’s going to be a great place to do business with the county,” says Interim Director of Fleet and Facilities Lisa Manwill.

However, the cost to renovate Bernalillo County’s new headquarters in downtown Albuquerque may be going up yet again. On Tuesday, county commissioners will decide whether they will approve more than $526,000 for furniture for Alvarado Square. “New chairs, computer monitor arms, and sit-stand desks,” Manwill says.

The county bought the building in 2017 for $2.7 million and in 2019 the cost of the entire project was an estimated $53 million. Manwill says that has since increased to just over $67 million.

But she says the additional furniture costs are unavoidable. “These costs would have been realized whether we moved to a new office building or not. We might have spent that on office furniture over a three to three-and-a-half-year period instead of a single year,” said Manwill.

Manwill says furniture in county buildings is routinely changed out but the item they’re looking at will be beneficial to employees. “Some of the items, like the sit-stand desk, have been shown to have a positive effect on your health and the county is supportive of keeping out employees healthy,” Manwill says.

The county tells KRQE News 13 the construction should be done in April. But they are not sure when employees will be able to move in. County commissioners will vote whether to approve the additional furniture cost on Tuesday.

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