Members of the Bernalillo County Commission have given their approval to the demolition of what used to be the Regional Correctional Center in downtown Albuquerque.
What to do with the 150,000 square foot structure at 415 Roma Avenue NW, which last held inmates around 8 years ago housed by the private Cornell Corrections company, has long challenged county officials.
Previous proposals have suggested it could be used once again as a detention facility, or extensively renovated and transformed into office space.
Because of its heavy use, the building through the years has ended up with a number of structural and systems issues. A study commissioned by the county in 2013 said it would cost around $26 million to adequately upgrade the structure.
But a more recent analysis added another $10 million to that figure.
In response, the commission has decided that it would be more cost-effective all the way around to level the structure, voting to approve a $2.5 million appropriation for its demolition.
That move will also save the county the roughly $84,000 it has been spending annually for keeping lights on in the building and paying for its insurance.
Immediate plans for what will replace the structure will mostly like see the site used for parking.
Located between the Albuquerque Police Department and the Second Judicial District Court for Bernalillo County, the site could also see the eventual construction of a new government office building.
By Garry Boulard
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