New construction or upgrading work could soon take place at a former federal government site in Roswell, New Mexico.
The City of Roswell is issuing a Request for Proposals for the possible future use of several buildings on the site that was once owned by the federal Department of Interior.
The site is located at 3801 E. Second Street on the east side of the city, and was formerly known as the Roswell Test Facility. It also includes at least one large storage tank, fencing, and parking space.
The structures, built in the early 1960s, along with the 12-acre property, was part of the Interior’s Office of Saline Water, which was tasked with desalting saline water into potable water.
In 1963 the facility was reported to be converting around 250,000 gallons of saline water a day.
Just over a decade later, the saline water office was merged into the Office of Water Resources Research.
In the mid-1980s, the structures on the site, as well as the site itself, was turned over to Roswell after the federal government decided to close the facility.
In the more than three decades since, city officials have been trying to find a new purpose for the property with the idea of eventually selling it.
Currently the main facility on the property is being used by the Milwaukee-based water heater and boiler manufacturer A.O. Smith, which is leasing the site from the city.
At least three of the five current buildings on the site have structural issues that may make their upgrading too expensive to justify, say city officials.
It has been thought in the past that the remaining two buildings could be repurposed for future warehouse or plant use.
The Roswell City Council’s infrastructure committee in January approved issuing the RFP, with a submission deadline of March 20.
By Garry Boulard
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