Business Section

September  20th, 1999

Plan unveiled to rebuild old, vacant AHS campus


By Kate Nash

Developers will renovate the site of the 1914 school with a mix of shops, offices and apartments.  It won'ts happen overnight, however, and could take up to two years.

struction could take up to two years.  That process takes awhile, Baca said, because it is "complex and tedious".
"It's not like you're going to see bulldozers in here tomorrow," he said.
Once construction begins it could take about a year.
Nearby neighborhood residents were ecstatic about the announcement.
Bill Hoch, the vice president of the Huning-Highlands Historic District Association, said he couldn't describe how happy he is about the project.
"I've lived here 25 years and been involved in every project," he said.  "This one finally worked."
The city and private investors have worked in the past on plans to renovate the site.
"That's been really frustrating for those of us who've lived here," Hock said.
In 1996, the city bought the school.  Now, three years later, Paradigm and Company was awarded the development contract.  The campus has been vacant for 25 years.
"It's like a shot of energy for the neighborhood," Hoch said.
The architectural firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini is doing the architecture work.
"This has always been every architect's dream project top be involved in because it means so much to our community and plays a role in revi

When Stella Armijo Lujan was a student at the bustling old Albuquerque High in the early 1960s, she was a cheerleader.
On Wednesday, Lujan again cheered, but this time at the unveiling of plans to renovate and rebuild the vacant and dilapidated campus near Downtown.
"I spent so much of my life here it just seems so important to kept it," said Lujan, treasurer of the Albuquerque High Alumni Association.  "The spirit just kind of stays with you."
Albuquerque Major Jim Baca announced that the city has come to an agreement with private developers on how to breathe new life into the campus, a set of buildings that dates back to 1914.
The buildings, near the intersection of Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard, have more broken windows now than whole ones and more charred wood than a park full of old campfires.
In the future, the old-style high school will house offices, shops and apartments.
However, the project won't take shape overnight.
The City Council must approve the development agreement.  Councilors will consider the agreement Monday.
If the plans are accepted, the site must then be cleaned up.
Getting the property ready for con

talizing Downtown," said architect Dale Dekker.  He described the two-year process of drawing up the plans -- which still aren't completed -- as "complicated as heck but fun."
The city will invest $11 million in the project.  Of that, $7.8 comes from gross-receipts tax revenue bonds.
The city in October will ask voters for an additional $3 million to pay for landscaping the common-area space.  Part of that money will go to acquire the old Manual Arts Building.

"Yes, taxpayer money will be used," Baca said.  "But that's what a government should do.
The developer will contribute about $22 million.
"These are the kinds of things that work for cities," Baca said.  "They always pay off in the long run."