It’s currently a vacant lot, but work could begin sometime next year on the construction of a library especially geared for Albuquerque’s International District.
The facility will go up in the 7600 block of Central Avenue on what was formerly the site of the famous Caravan East Nightclub.
That entertainment venue closed in late 2016, not long before the City of Albuquerque purchased the property with the idea of putting a new library there.
The building housing the nightclub was subsequently demolished.
With a population of around 30,000 people, the International District in southeast Albuquerque was created a decade ago reflecting a unique resident mix of Native Americans and immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, and other places.
City officials have long felt that while the district has restaurants, grocery stores, and other retail space, it has lacked the one facility that often serves as the core of any community: a library.
As proposed, the new full-service library will include space not only for shelves of books, but also a reading room, community meeting space, study rooms, and an adult lounge.
Funding for the project is coming from a variety of sources, including the $5.5 million approved earlier this month by Albuquerque voters as part of a larger $128 million general obligation bond package.
Earlier this year, the project also received $1.9 million in capital outlay funding from the New Mexico State Legislature.
The library, which will be a part of the Public Library for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County system, is slated to go up on the western side of the site, off San Pablo Street.
Planning and the design for the new library is being handled by the Albuquerque-based High Mesa Consulting Group, a firm specializing in surveying, civil engineering, and planning.
By Garry Boulard
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