Water Drilling and Pipeline Project Re-Proposed

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

A plan to drill nearly 40 water wells and build a 140-mile long pipe to transfer water from a deep acquifer in rural New Mexico to the Albuquerque metro area has been submitted to the Office of the State Engineer.

The project, which could cost as much as $600 million to build, is the dreamchild of Augustin Plains Ranch LLC, located near the town of Datil in southcentral New Mexico.

As proposed, up to 17 billion gallons of water annually could be pumped from an acquifer that is thought to be large enough to last for 300 years.

Augustin Plains Ranch originally proposed the project in 2007, saying the water would come from beneath the plains of San Augustin, some 50 miles west of Socorro.

Although the State Engineer’s Office eventually rejected the proposed project, declaring that it was lacking in specificity, the company says its new proposal is more thorough.

A decision from the State Engineer regarding whether or not the proposal will go through a hearing process is expected to be made later this summer.

 

By Garry Boulard

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New Mexico State University’s Martinez Hall to see Upgrades

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Members of the New Mexico State University’s board of regents have voted to approve upgrades to the Walter Martinez Hall at the school’s Grants campus.

The two-story hall, which houses a theatre, is one of the oldest buildings on the Grants campus and was built in the late 1970s.

The work, which is expected to begin late this summer, will include new LED lighting and audio/visual upgrades to the building’s classrooms as well as the installation of a new motorized projection screen, new control booth and sound reinforcement system.

Due to the fact that the Grants school is a Hispanic-serving institution, funding for $220,000 project will come from a U.S. Department of Education Title V Grant.

 

By Garry Boulard

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New Walmart Supercenter to Revive Aging Arizona Shopping Center

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Walmart Stores has announced plans to build a new Supercenter inside an aging mall space in Phoenix.

The project will go up at the Metrocenter Mall, located at 9617 North Metro Parkway.

The mall was opened in the fall of 1973 and is the largest mall space in Arizona. Although it currently houses more than 100 stores, it has also seen an increase in vacancies and decline in foot traffic in recent years.

In 2012 the Carlyle Development Group, which is based in New York, purchased the center for $12.2 million and announced plans to create more mix-use developments at the site.

Plans call for work to begin on the 148,000 square foot Supercenter, which will be developed at the south end of the property, early next year, with a general completion date set for early 2016.

 

By Garry Boulard

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Fund Created in Colorado to Bring up to Date County Courthouse

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Up to $1.5 million in funding is now available for updating county courthouses in mostly rural Colorado.

The Underfunded Courthouse Facilities Grant Program was passed this spring by the Colorado state legislature and signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. The money will be available for fiscal year 2015.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative Edward Vigil, notes that in the past few years, judicial districts in Colorado have been confronted with courthouse “repair, renovation, improvement and expansion” needs.

Those needs are due to the age of the various courthouses, use, and damage from natural disasters.

Courthouses in Colorado, many of which were built more than a century ago, “are slowly crumbling or do not have the space to conduct court business as effectively as needed,” Vigil said in a statement.

 

By Garry Boulard

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Colorado University Swimming Pool to get Extensive Upgrade

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

     An Olympic-sized pool that was built more than 40 years ago will soon be getting an upgrade.

     Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed capital construction funding legislation approved earlier this year by state lawmakers targeting $900,000 for the work.

     The pool is housed inside the Plachy Hall at 208 Edgemont Drive, on the main campus of Adams State University in Alamosa.

     According to Bill Mansheim, vice-president for finance and governmental relations with the school, the work on the pool will include the installation of a new filtration and chemical distribution system, new pool liner, and the replacement of tile decking surrounding the pool.

     Mansheim says that the design and engineering work on the project is expected to begin later this year, with the actual work on the pool scheduled for next summer.

 

By Garry Boulard

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Sandoval County May See to Its Courthouse

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

     Even though it was built and opened less than a decade ago, the Sandoval County Judicial Complex needs more room.

     Because the county has enjoyed a significant jump in its population, from just over 105,000 residents a decade ago to more than 135,000 today, that has also meant an increase in cases heard in the court rooms that are a part of the complex.

     The complex, which measures 48,000 square feet, is at 1500 Idalia Road in Bernalillo and currently houses three courtrooms, as well as administrative offices.

     County officials would like to build a 52,000 square foot addition to the building, a project that would cost between $7.5 million and $8 million.

     Members of the Sandoval County Commission have until the first week of August to decide whether to put on the November ballot a bond proposal that would pay for the addition’s construction.

 

By Garry Boulard

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Projects at El Paso Airport Reflect Growth, Optimism

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

                                                                                                                     by Garry Boulard

A five-year capital improvement plan for the El Paso International Airport will soon see more than $139 million in construction activity, including a project that upon completion is bound to make many travelers happy: a new $46 million car-rental facility.

“We’ve been working for the last three years on putting together the design and planning for a new multi-level facility that can accommodate more parking,” says Scott Goldstein, director of airport planning for Enterprise Holdings, which operates such car-rental brands as Alamo, National and Enterprise.

New El Paso International Airport Site Plan

New El Paso International Airport Site Plan

“The facility we’ve had at the airport has been severely strained, so that during peak rental and return times there is such a shortage of parking space that the parking lot ends up looking like the LA Freeway, with cars backed up and around the airport terminal,” continues Goldstein.

The new three-story structure, says Sam Rodriguez, director of aviation development at the airport, “is pretty important for us, as well for the car rental agencies and, of course the customers, and should be operational by the first quarter of 2016.”

Work started on the building, which is going up on the west side of the airport on a vacant car-rental lot, earlier this summer.

Upon completion, says Goldstein, “it will allow us to handle more than the 200 to 300 rental cars we currently handle, and will also include a common fuel and car wash facility that all of the car rental companies will share and use, meaning that when a car returns, you can take it down one ramp and go through the production of cleaning it, turning it right back around, and putting it up in the garage.”

“It is going to be a much more efficient process for everyone,” adds Goldstein.

The five-year plan for the airport, whose roots can be traced to the fall of 1927 when the visiting 25 year-old aviation hero Charles Lindberg suggested to city leaders that El Paso really needed to have its own airport, are sweeping and include a $16.8 million runway reconstruction, $15.9 million new taxiway and loading bridges costing $14 million.

The most visual new airport project is the construction of the $42.5 million, 220-room Westin Hotel, which will go up on the southwest corner of Airway Boulevard and Boeing Drive.

ELP ConRAC Renderings - Core ExteriorThat project, notes Gabriela Martinez, administrative analyst with the airport’s properties division, includes a $22 million retail center with “up to 80,000 square feet of land for retail space,” that may house restaurants, bars and open space for such special events as art festivals and concerts.

The 140,000 square foot hotel was originally conceived by William Correa, the president and owner of the Dallas-based Paragon Project Resources. In February it was announced that EP Vida, Paragon’s development arm, had selected Jordan Foster Construction, of El Paso, to build the hotel.

In a statement, Darren Woody, CEO of Jordon Foster, described the construction of the 4-star hotel as “an exciting project for the Master Plan at the airport,” as well as a “great economic stimulus for El Paso.”

The hotel is going up on some nine acres owned by the airport and could be open for business by the fall of 2015.

Located at 6701 Convair Road, the El Paso International Airport is the largest airport in the West Texas and southern New Mexico vicinity, last year serving more than 2.7 million passengers.

Learn more about these El Paso International Airport projects here.

Construction Reporter is pleased to cover this important regional story.  Please give us your feedback on this article and others you might like to see us cover!

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