PERALTA — The long-awaited town park and community center in Peralta is set to break ground in the near future with the first part of the project, a groundwater well.

Town Clerk Kori Taylor said the town is waiting on the state Construction Industries Division to approve the plans before embarking on the project. While original estimates predicted construction starting in December, they will more than likely begin this year.

After receiving more than $882,000 from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act, the town decided to dedicate $58,000 of that funding to an on-site well. The town also received $350,000 in capital outlay funding in 2021 from the state Legislature to go towards beginning the construction of walkways, playgrounds and picnic areas within the three-acre park.

The funding for the construction of the community center to reside within the park has yet to be allocated; however, the designs for the community center have been completed with the exact phases for the project still up for discussion.

The park will be located at 4 Quail Run Drive in Peralta, about one mile down the road from the Peralta Town Hall.

While the designs, produced by architecture firm Buffalo Design, have the large gymnasium complete with a basketball court as part of phase two, Peralta town councilors discussed having that portion pushed to phase one.

“As long as it accommodates the youth and the seniors, I think that’s what we’re after,” Mayor Bryan Olguin said during the design presentation.

The current phase one, as denoted by the completed designs, includes a commercial kitchen as well as several different activity rooms equipped for sewing, arts and crafts and other pastimes.

While the councilors and Mayor Olguin agreed the kitchen and adjoining eating area, as well as the bathrooms were important to include in phase one to accommodate the town’s seniors, they plan to move the rest of the rooms currently included in phase one to the second phase.

“I think it’s fair to hit (Buffalo Designs) back to see about swapping the phases and what implications that would have to cost,” Olguin said. “So, we aren’t really asking them to change their design, we’re just asking them to understand their design.”

For the current completed designs, Buffalo Designs estimates the first phase to cost about $5 million with phase two estimated to cost $4,386,340. It is unclear how much the phasing changes Peralta is proposing will change the cost estimates for the respective phases.

Buffalo Designs also included a phase three for the community center, to include two exercise rooms. The councilors discussed forgoing that portion altogether due to both cost and necessity. Phase three was estimated by Buffalo Designs to cost a little more than $1 million.

Peralta Councilor Joseph Romero suggested purchasing a curtain that could separate the gymnasium into two separate areas to accommodate classes and other activities at the center in lieu of the third phase.

There is currently no timeline in place for when construction will begin on the town community center and adjoining park.

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.