What is being called the Gateway Center could see the construction of a new homeless shelter in Albuquerque that would provide sleeping quarters for around 300 people.
University of New Mexico officials have talked about the idea for several months, exploring the possibility of building the structure on school property.
Although the shelter may go up on UNM’s main Albuquerque campus, it would not be operated by the school, or even regarded as a UNM building.
UNM President Garnett Stokes, in remarks delivered before a public input meeting, said the school was open to working with the City of Albuquerque on the development of the shelter, emphasizing that a campus shelter would have the added advantage of being near the UNM Hospital.
The site thought to be favored by UNM for construction of the shelter is to the north of Lomas Boulevard NE, but south of the school’s Office of the Medical Investigator, located at 1101 Camino de Salud, roughly a mile and a half to the north of the center of the main campus.
Construction of what is estimated to be a $30 million shelter would be partially funded by general obligation bonds approved by city voters last November.
As envisioned, the shelter would operate on a round-the-clock basis, while additionally providing services designed to secure permanent housing for those using the shelter.
An earlier conceptual design for the project released before the bond election showed a building with laundry space, a kitchen, two lobbies, a dining and multi-purpose room, and an outdoor enclosed courtyard.
UNM officials have said they intend to conduct a series of public input meetings on the project before any decision is made as to its actual construction.
By Garry Boulard
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