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Plans are nearly complete for a new, full-size, multi-purpose gymnasium at the Corrales Recreation Center that may be built next year. Corrales voters approved issuance of municipal bonds for it two years ago, but early estimates put the cost at around $5 million for all that was desired. The existing gym went up in 1998 only about a quarter of the size of a regulation high school facility. Even then, funding was tight; it could not have been done without contributions from both Sandoval and Bernalillo County governments. (The south end of Corrales was within Bernalillo County back then.) The new gym would be built between the old gym (which would become an exercise and weight room, along with lockers) and the TopForm Arena. It would not encroach at all on the riding arena, but would extend about 25 feet into what is now the west athletic field.

“The design is pretty much on its way,” Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts said, “so we’ll be ready to go when we get the bond money, which I think will be next February.” Siverts said he was told construction costs may come down next spring, but they are extraordinarily high right now. So available funds may go farther than seems likely at this stage. He was told the project will take about a year to complete once underway. Village Administrator Ron Curry said August 2 that $4 million worth of municipal bonds were approved at the last Village election, of which $2.5 million was earmarked for the gym. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXVIII No.4 April 6, 2019 “How Will Villagers’ GO Bond Money Be Used?”) Other funds for the project presumably be drawn from other sources. Siverts and the firm designing the new gym anticipate at least $2.5 million can be used from the GO bonds to be issued.

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Corrales’ Brian Kilcup, president of FacilityBuild, the Albuquerque firm designing the gym and related features, said July 26 that he has been told the Village will have $2.5 million to work with. “I’m told they have the money for phase one, about $2.5 million.” As currently discussed, a phase two might cost another $2 million for meeting rooms. It would be between the old gym, the new gym and the pool house, “tying it all together with a beautiful exterior, facade and walkways.” Kilcup said he was not aware that funding has been found for phase two.

Siverts said the new gym would be “full high school-size, so we’ll be able to do real volleyball in there and several pickle ball courts, and for the basketball leagues, you won’t be sitting or leaning against the wall to watch.” The new gym will have movable bleechers for spectators. Another big selling point is that the new gym would be available for a wide variety of community events, including voting at election times. The Parks & Rec director said a survey conducted by the Parks and Recreation Commission revealed citizens gave a high priority to building a new gym. The old gym is clearly too small for the more than 200 participants in youth basketball, he said, in addition to the popular over-40 basketball program. “And when we had soccer meetings, we had tons of people in there.”

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