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BernCo on Schedule for Move to Alvarado Square


A project update for BernCo @ Alvarado Square (BC@AS) was presented to the County Commission at Tuesday night’s administrative meeting.

Construction at the BC@AS campus is more than 50% complete. The interior renovation of the tower is moving forward as anticipated with an anticipated February 2021 completion date, and the construction of the new commission chambers is currently ahead of the schedule.

Just over 800 employees are expected to move to BC@AS, which will be just shy of 300,000 SF with the new 12,000 SF Commission Chambers addition.

“As the time for the move to BC@AS draws closer, I am excited for the chance for the public to have a one-stop shop for their Bernalillo County needs,” says Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. “At the same time, we are all aware of the need to move to a building that is equipped with the amenities and safety features we expect in this new world we are living in.”

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will likely change the workplace indefinitely and a new subcommittee has been assembled to respond with thoughtful and appropriate measures to address coronavirus (COVID-19)-safe initiatives. This new subcommittee is implementing ways to create safe environments for the public and employees.

BC@AS will be the first Fitwel building in in New Mexico. Fitwel is a commercial building certification, developed by the General Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, that supports healthier workplace environments to help improve occupant health and productivity.

It has also on track to become certified LEED Silver under the ID+C (Interior Design and Construction) designation as well. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides independent verification of a building green features, allowing for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy, cost-effective buildings.

The choice of the location of BC@AS, still downtown but south of Central Avenue, is important in helping to revitalize the area and spur economic development there.

In support of the move to Alvarado Square, Bernalillo County has placed a number of Bernalillo County buildings up for sale:

  • The Annex Building at 415 Tijeras NW has been sold. The county is currently leasing the building until employees housed there are moved to Alvarado Square in the fall.
  • The Housing Department building located at 1900 Bridge SW is on the market.
  • The Assessor’s Office building at 501 Tijeras NW is on the market.
  • Union Square at 111 Union Square SE - for sale process on hold.
  • Atrium building at 6840 Second NW - for sale process on hold.

Since 2008, Bernalillo County has been investigating the development of a county administrative building that could provide a single location for customer service. A number of ideas were evaluated over the years – a new building, several existing buildings, potential renovation of a current county building, etc.

A new building would have been more than twice the cost of a building renovation, and was thus determined to be too expensive. In, 2016 a RFI (Request for Information) for property owners and realtors was solicited to determine what was available for purchase that would meet the county’s needs. Ultimately the 252,000 square foot Alvarado Square Building was purchased in May 2017.

In March 2019, the project was contracted with HB Construction and Dekker/Perich/Sabatini architects who make up the design-build team. The HB contract is a design-build project delivery method which encompasses all aspects of the project including the design fees and the construction cost. To date there have been two owner driven change orders approved by the commission. Around 60% of the cost is for improvements to the data system, electrical upgrades, replacement of water conveying systems, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, heating, ventilation and cooling system upgrades and improved building security. A focus on sustainability has been placed on the project, including LED lights will be installed throughout the building, state of the art building controls and efficient plumbing fixtures. Investment in the new center is expected to give the building a useful life of 30 years and bring BernCo’s home into the 21st century.

To view a video of the construction progress click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mThVQyVtOOU&feature=youtu.be





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