Wednesday, February 23, 2011

[Volcano_Vista_HS] Board of Ed to Vote on Westside Stadium TODAY

The Board of Education will be voting on the west side stadium at tomorrow's Feb. 23rd meeting, 5 pm at APS Headquarters:

6400 Uptown Blvd., NE Albuquerque, NM 87110.

This will be your opportunity to weigh in. Please sign up to speak prior to 5 pm. The media has only shown those opposed to the stadium's location. The proposed site is east of the original Paseo Del Volcan site, and is west of 98th and north of I-40.

The stadium, a new high school and a new 80 acre city sportsplex will be discussed Thursday night at the Northwest Alliance of Neighbors meeting, 6:30pm at Don Newton Taylor Ranch Community Center.

For More Information Contact: Laura Horton, Bubble Gum Brigade Field Coordinator, 710-0646 cell,

APS Stadium Set for I-40, 98th St.

By Hailey Heinz
Journal Staff Writer

          A parcel of land north of Interstate 40 and 98th Street NW is set as the site of a new Albuquerque Public Schools sports complex, after a 5-2 school board vote Monday.
        The land still must be surveyed to determine its exact acreage, but it is about 220 acres, and the district will buy it for $35,000 per acre. The cost is estimated at $7.7 million, which will be paid with capital bond money. The total allocation for the stadium, including land purchase, design and construction, is $40 million.
        The 220 acres is divided into two 110-acre parcels, one that will be the site of the West Side sports complex. Officials envision that the other parcel will be the site of future schools.
        The dissenting votes were Lorenzo Garcia and Dolores Griego, who represents the South Valley and was defeated in her re-election bid by charter school founder Analee Maestas. New board members will be sworn in March 2.
        Griego has advocated building the stadium on APS-owned land near Atrisco Heritage Academy on the far southwest mesa. APS administrators had been considering the southwest location, but they faced delays due partly to county restrictions on noise and lighting. APS also did not own enough land to build a stadium in addition to a K-8 school in the area as originally planned.
        Much of the board's discussion — and dissent from Griego and Garcia — turned on whether APS promised the public a southwest stadium when it campaigned for the passage of a $616 million tax and bond package last February.
        Griego and Garcia both said they remembered bond literature that contained that information. Others, including Superintendent Winston Brooks and board member Robert Lucero, said they remembered it differently.
        A review of bond campaign literature and board agendas show that the stadium was always described as a "West Side stadium," without a specified location. And the only property that had been discussed in public meetings was located along I-40 near Paseo del Volcan.
        That deal fell through after the February election, and the board approved the southwest site in March.
        Griego also peppered administrators with questions about whether the I-40 site has infrastructure to support the stadium. APS real estate director Martin Eckert said the site has some existing paved street access as well as water and sewer lines nearby.
        Brooks said the southwest property was more of a Plan B after developer SunCal's financial woes stymied the purchase of the Paseo del Volcan property.
        "I think all along we thought that having a more centrally located stadium would be a better thing for the district," Brooks said. "Now, that's not to discount the fact that there will be growth down around AHA, and we do intend to proceed with the K-8 project down there. And at some point in time, who knows? We may need a stadium down there, too."
        Bond restrictions require that the stadium be completed by September 2013, a date officials said they could meet.


The City of Albuquerque will consider building a regional park alongside APS' proposed Westside Stadium .

The school district has been eyeing 220 acres near 98th and I-40 for the sports complex . Now the city may team up with APS and buy a bordering parcel of 80 acres for a regional park adding soccer, softball and baseball fields. 

City council member Ken Sanchez says the project, estimated around $7 million, would be part of a bond for city projects that residents vote on every two years.

Vic Segura, who lives near 98th and I-40, says there are people in his neighborhood who still don't support the plans, but he has noticed lately that both APS and city officials have been communicating better with residents. One change includes moving the APS stadium farther away from homes to 118th Street. He also says there's discussion about putting the proposed city park between homes and the stadium as a buffer.

"I think it's a viable project for the neighborhood. We need to have some economic development, and we need to have growth on the Westside," said Segura.

Both the city council and the APS school board will convene for regular meetings Wednesday. The council will vote on placing the park project into the capital improvements bond package, which Albuquerque residents would then vote on in October.

The school board is expected to vote on moving the sports complex to the 98th and I-40 location, and whether to give the green light to buy the land.

An OLD story that explains the situation...

APS West Side stadium delayed
Plan was Fall of next year, now Spring 2012

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010, 10:28 PM MDT
Reporter: Ian Schwartz

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Public School's $38 million West Side stadium was supposed to be done in the Fall 2011 but that will not happen, according to the district's chief operations officer.

"There might be a little frustration, but it will be great when this is done," Brad Winter said.

The design is done and the site is picked out, but the the completion date for the stadium will now be Spring, or even, Fall of 2012.

Right now, all 13 APS high schools share Milne and Wilson stadiums for football games and other events. The first snag for the new stadium was a change of venue. It was supposed to originally go up on a patch of desert near Double Eagle Airport, but the land deal fell through in March. It will now be built on the Southwest Mesa next to Atrisco Heritage Academy.

"We had to kinda readjust some of the site plans for that," Winter said.

Securing the money to pay for the complex also added to the delay. Voters approved bonds in February which will cover the $38 million cost.

"The bonds will be sold and complete in November, then right after that, we will go to construction," Winter said.

But athletes anxious to play sports on a new field are going to have to wait. Once construction begins, it will take more than a year until the stadium is finished, according to APS. Some West Mesa High School football players said that is too long.

"It is also a hassle to go from one place to another," West Mesa football player Lucas Cordova said. "With the new stadium it would be closer."

Cordova and his friends are ninth graders now, but will not play on a new field until the 11th grade.

"It is both frustrating and something to look forward to," Cordova said. "Because we know we are building up to get that stadium, but also frustrating because they are delaying it."

Winter said it will be worth it.

"This is first stadium we have done in a long long time, so we want to make sure we are doing it the right way."


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