Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
A shuffling of hundreds of University of New Mexico Hospital employees and charter school students is underway.
UNM announced Friday that about 225 UNMH administrators are moving from a building on the college’s South Campus to a Downtown office in the 400 block of Tijeras NW, adjacent to Civic Plaza.
The plan is for students at the Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science to move into the space being vacated by the hospital administrators in the 900 block of Bradbury SE early next year. AIMS, one of the highest-rated schools in the state, currently splits its students between the building on Bradbury and another university building at 1155 University SE.
“By extending our presence into the Downtown area we are enhancing the possibilities for a more vibrant and innovative Downtown experience shared by all,” UNM President Garnett Stokes said in a prepared statement. “It’s a real win-win situation – it’s good for education, health care, the economy and the community.”
Mayor Tim Keller welcomed the move of over 200 hospital employees to the heart of the city.
“Downtown Albuquerque has so much to offer the community, and I’m thrilled our partners at UNM are taking advantage of that,” Keller said in a statement. “This aligns directly with the city’s vision for economic development by generating more growth and activity for Downtown businesses.”
Lobo Development Corp., a nonprofit owned by the UNM Board of Regents to manage university real estate, is funding a $1.3 million renovation project to the building on Bradbury so the building is better suited for AIMS. The charter school is paying back Lobo Development over 15 years as part of its lease.
Cinnamon Blair, a UNM spokeswoman, said the construction project is expected to be completed in December and AIMS students could move entirely into the Bradbury building at the start of the spring semester. Blair said the university hasn’t made any final plans on what to do with the building on University that AIMS students are leaving.
UNMH will lease the fourth floor of the Downtown building, which was formerly used by Molina Healthcare of New Mexico. The floor is about 425,000 square feet, according to a UNM news release.
The hospital is leasing the space in the Downtown building for $640,000 per year, said Tom Neale, the director of real estate at UNM. The lease runs through April 2025.
UNMH employees started moving into their Downtown office this week, Neale said.