Lt. Governor Howie Morales listens to Socorro General Services Manager Lloyd Martinez during a tour of Finley Gym.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain photos

Renovations at Finley Gym are a top priority for the City of Socorro. Finley Gym renovations are expected to be near the top of the city’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan funding requests in the upcoming legislative session.

City staff walked New Mexico Lt. Governor Howie Morales through the partially renovated gym Monday afternoon, hopeful that Morales will share information about the project with legislators.

There has already been $1.2 million spent on renovating the space, $350,000 of which were capital outlay funds the city recently received from the state.

The plan for the building’s renovations.

Renovations include a full face-lift of the front entrance, a new HVAC system, new windows and doors, and improvements to the walls in the weight room and the gym. Finley Gym should reopen with these improvements near the end of March. Much of the work has already been done, but the HVAC system cannot be used until a new transformer is secured, which is delaying reopening the space.

City administration is trying to secure more funding to make more improvements to the space. General Services Director Lloyd Martinez told Morales the city is planning to ask for another $1 million from the state to make improvements to the stage, the roof over the yoga and Ping-Pong rooms, the courtyard, to re-stucco part of the building, to sand down and restripe the basketball flooring, and to demolish part of the building and add parking.

Morales recommended asking for $1.5 million or $2 million because he does not think $1 million will be enough to make the needed improvements.

The city has an application in for a $1 million recreation grant from the state, but city administration has not heard yet if they will receive any of those grant funds.

The state does have a lot of severance tax money, which can fund capital outlay projects, said Morales, so he thinks the chances are good that Socorro could get improvements to the gym funded. The city of Socorro also has a history of maximizing capital outlay money by offering in-kind work, said Morales, like the project to build the rodeo grounds.

“We want to continue to invest in local communities and rural communities’ quality of life,” said Morales.

Some of the other projects the city administration spoke with Morales about:

—An expected ICIP request for $400,000 to repave roads near New Mexico Tech, including North Leroy, Mary Place, Cassity Place and Walkway.

—An expected ICIP request for $350,000 to improve Sedillo Park, including planning and design of improvements, new LED lighting, new turf field and upgrades to dugouts and fencing.

—Paving on East Manzanares and Fowler Street.

—The city received $1.9 million from the VW settlement, which will allow the city to purchase three dump trucks and two garbage trucks. However, this creates a need to expand the CNG filling station, estimated to cost $1.3 to $1.6 million.

—A desired entrance for the RV park by the rodeo arena. The city administration wants help working on this with NMDOT.

—A sewer line collapsed on Spring Street a few months ago and needs to be replaced at an estimated cost of $1 million.

—The desire to replace water tanks and the overflow line.

—The city needs funding to build a stormwater runoff on Bullock. The runoff was never permitted, and the city has four years on a five-year permit with the Middle Rio Ground Conservancy District to design and build a new stormwater runoff. A study is being conducted on it and is expected to be complete next August.

—More funding will be needed to rebuild the East/EMRTC Bridge. $350,000 has already been allocated from NMDOT to start the rebuild, and the city is waiting on a quote for the redesign.