A nearly 600,000 square foot structure that formerly served as a hospital in Albuquerque may be updated and re-purposed as a new homeless shelter.
City officials have announced that they are looking at the building at 5400 Gibson Boulevard SE with the hope of purchasing what once was the Lovelace Medical Center.
The Lovelace Health System sold the building in 2007 after moving into new facilities to the east of downtown Albuquerque.
Since then portions of the building, on a nearly 17-acre site, have been leased out by various medical care entities, while the City of Albuquerque has continued eyeing the property for a modern combined homeless shelter and services facility.
Mayor Tim Keller has told the Albuquerque Journal that the building could serve as a “24/7 drop-off site for first responders,” as well as a resource for behavioral and medical health services.
Last month the State of New Mexico announced the unveiling of a Covid-19 care service taking up roughly half of the square footage of the building, seeing a transformation of that part of the structure undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers.
City officials say the structure, which was built in 1980, is large enough to accommodate both the new Covid-19 treatment services, as well as a homeless shelter, with private individual rooms and intake space.
Details regarding the ultimate purchase of the former Lovelace Medical Center have not yet been revealed.
By Garry Boulard