Editor’s Note: This story has been modified to reflect that the committee tasked with finalizing the design of the proposed Arts Culture and Education center was not finalizing the plans on Oct. 19, as originally reported. The process is ongoing, and the public is still invited to provide input to the committee, which meets at 10 a.m. Nov. 2 via Zoom. Visit the villages website for more information: http://www.corrales-nm.org.

Mayor Jim Fahey said the new committee charged with planning design elements for the proposed $8 million Arts Culture and Education (ACE) center still seeking input on the design.

In his weekly “Mayor’s Message” emailed to constituents and other interested parties each Friday, Fahey explained events that led up to a second advisory committee’s review of the designs. The facility, which still has no funding source, is planned to be built on the former Jones property which borders the recently purchased Anderson property on Corrales Road and the Public Works yard in back. 

Fahey said that in 2019 a Village Center Exploratory Committee looked into the possibility of creating a village plaza on the Jones property. While it determined there was no historical basis to do so, it did see a need “to improve and create community gathering spaces” and it was suggested the Jones property could be converted into a multi-use community space.

Since then, the village administration has been moving toward building the center on the Jones property, with the Anderson property used for parking and a new location for the Corrales Growers Market.

Fahey said a committee was formed to develop a plan for a multi-use facility and they did “an excellent job developing a plan for the facility after reaching out to as many Corrales organizations as they could think of to find out the needs of these groups. The design they came up with provides for the desires expressed by these community organizations, many of whom need meeting space as well as educational space for speaker programs and entertainment.”

But some criticized the planning process as not being open and transparent and failed to get input from other groups, and the village council agreed to form a second committee. It’s that committee that was finalizing the design.

The ACE facility is expected to cost about $8 million to build. Village officials said recently that if funding is secured by a recently formed non-profit tasked with raising funds, the ACE Center could be in place sometime in 2025. They said that some, but not all, funding is in space and they were hopeful that they would receive some government funding.

Fahey also made mention that the ACE Center would serve as an anchor for the Arts and Cultural District being developed by Corrales MainStreet. At a recent village council meeting, Angela Gutierrez of Corrales Mainstreet said there’s certain criteria that must be met before the village can apply for the Arts and Cultural District designation. One requirement is mapping for the cultural plan, which she said was three-quarters complete.

“We’re getting really close,” she said. 

Everything should be ready by the end of the year, she said, noting that the application wouldn’t be filed until next year.

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