Home News Local News Tour raises infrastructure awareness; Progress reports on convention center, rec center provided

Tour raises infrastructure awareness; Progress reports on convention center, rec center provided

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Mona Kirk and Jeanine Corn Best listen as Project Manager Kevin Dillon begins the city’s project tour in the entrance of the under-construction Roswell Convention & Civic Center on Thursday afternoon. (Alison Penn Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

City of Roswell officials and other community leaders toured eight infrastructure projects on Thursday afternoon.

Alison Penn Photo
Bob Richardson, the HB Construction manager, displays the future Roswell City Council dais in the Roswell Convention & Civic Center to the group attending the city’s project tour on Thursday afternoon.

Six city councilors, Mayor Dennis Kintigh, City Manager Joe Neeb, and city staff visited each site via a Pecos Transit bus with a police escort. Superintendent Dr. Ann McIlroy and Mona Kirk, school board president, represented Roswell Independent School District on the tour.

Neeb said the purpose of the tour was to show the progress and the full picture of what the city is working on, and provide a reminder of all the “great things the city is doing” on difficult and expensive infrastructure projects.

The first stop was the Roswell Convention & Civic Center at 912 N. Main St. Project Manager Kevin Dillon answered questions from the group and explained how natural light would be a major component of the north side’s new construction, facing the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Dillon said finding oil tanks led to a six-week delay, as well as issues with the existing structure. Born and raised locally with more than 20 years’ commercial construction experience, Dillon said it is rewarding to watch his hometown grow and to be a part of it.

This photo shows another internal view of the Recreation and Aquatic Center. (Alison Penn Photo)

Construction Manager Bill Richardson, from HB Construction of Albuquerque, guided attendees through the A and B conference rooms, storage space, food preparation area and the old facility. Richardson explained that he and the crew are currently working on a ramp that would lead to the future city council dais. Dillon said the new improvements will add more flexibility in the space, for the needs of different-sized events.

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The construction crew is working to meet a deadline in August in time to host the New Mexico Municipal League’s annual conference. Dillon said the existing large room of the civic center will be used for the conference and the new building will be secured with a rough finish to hold the vendor booths. Dillon said the crew is doubling efforts to do 14 months of work in 10 months.

In a news release, Todd Wildermuth, the city’s public information officer, stated that Spectra (the venue management company) signed a contract with the city in May and began working July 1. Spectra is currently looking to hire locals and information on this can be found on the city’s website.

At the intersection of Stone Street and North Montana Avenue, City Engineer Najar said more traffic is expected once the rec center opens — and a project there will be aimed at preventing accidents and enhancing safety for drivers. The $476,000 project is not approved at this time but is requested for fiscal year 2019. He explained that some trees will need to be moved, as well as a section of the bike trail, and that a small water detention pond will need to be created.

After stopping at the Stone and Montana realignment project, Najar presented information on it and guided the tour to the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center at 1402 W. College Blvd. The $20,000,000 multipurpose recreation center has a soft deadline of this fall and the aquatic side is estimated to be finished sometime in late spring or early summer next year.

The rec center’s concrete tilt-up walls are up. The crew is digging the outdoor pool and slide areas. Neeb said it was fun to watch the walls be poured and then raised. The main entrance faces west to the skate park and where the Old Municipal Airport once stood.

On the inside of the rec center, Dillon said there will be a secured vestibule for the school and the circulation desk will be the first point of reference upon entering. Dillon showed where the indoor pool, restrooms, and showers will be.

The end of the main recreation center will face West College Boulevard and the main gym is adjacent to this corridor. Near the entrance, two wall art fixtures, of a volleyball and basketball player, have been installed.

Neeb said the city’s parks department will be doing landscaping improvements up to the street to correlate with the new facility’s progress.

During the drive, the mayor and city manager pointed out sidewalks and other issues that need attention in Roswell. For sidewalks around the rec center, Dillon said there is a plan to tie onto the existing sidewalk on the east side of the center, and plan for a cut trail to lead to the building on the north corner.

The next stop on the tour was the North Union and Montana avenues, or “Un-tana”, project. Najar explained the current progress from his assistant engineer Ryan Porter, the “Un-tana” project manager, and his crew.

Najar also took the tour to the West Country Club Twin Reservoirs, the South Union Roadway project from the Roswell Community Little Theater to West Gayle Street, the South Washington Avenue roadway project from Poe Street to West Hobbs Street, and Hobbs Street from South Union Avenue to Main Street.

Various improvements to sidewalks, pavement, and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance will be done on in the neighborhoods surrounding Monterrey Elementary School and Roswell High School.

Najar said bids were opened on Tuesday for the South Union and South Washington project and the recommendation to award the bid will go before infrastructure committee on Monday.

Saying he had other projects on the wish-list, Najar added he is aware of the economic impact of each project and strives to make the most of each dollar spent to improve Roswell.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.