A long-cherished dream in Santa Fe to build a teen center may finally be gaining some traction with design work currently underway by a local architectural firm.
For more than a decade, Santa Fe officials have wanted to build a multi-purpose facility on the south side of the city that would include a gymnasium, but also provide meeting space for a variety of community, education, and health programs.
The envisioned 10,000 square foot structure is slated to go up near the Tierra Contenta neighborhood and the Southside Branch Library, located at 6599 Jaguar Drive, roughly 8 miles southwest of downtown Santa Fe.
The Tierra Contenta subdivision, just a little over 20 years old, is one of the fastest-growing residential sections of Santa Fe with more than 2,300 housing units, and large numbers of families with teenagers.
Plans call for the construction of at least another 2,000 housing units in Tierra Contenta in the next decade or so.
Around $1.1 million for the teen center project was secured as a capital outlay appropriation earlier this year by the New Mexico State Legislature. The city, meanwhile, has come through with another $1 million.
According to the Santa Fe Reporter newspaper, the city is “hoping for another $3 million and has identified it among top capital funding priorities for next year.”
The design for the new center is being handled by the architectural firm of Spears Horn Architects, in conjunction with the non-profit Earth Care, which has interviewed area teens, asking for their input on the project.
The Santa Fe-based Earth Care is a youth leadership organization devoted to sustainability issues.
A final construction cost estimate for the new teen center is expected to be announced by city officials early next year.
By Garry Boulard
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