Belen is taking a huge step forward in finding new uses for some of its old unoccupied buildings. That’s exactly the way it should be done because, otherwise, unoccupied buildings can become the target of vandalism or arson and can give passers-by the feeling that no one is at home in our city.
First, Calvary Chapel of the Rio Grande Valley took over the old Wal-Mart building on North Main. We remember when Pastor Ray Jaramillo and his congregation met in a tiny storefront on Becker Avenue. Attendance expanded so quickly that soon Calvary Chapel took over the old La Mesa School campus and now needs the big Wal-Mart building to house the 800 adults and 300 children who regularly attend. It has expanded to three services.
Secondly, the Belen Consolidated Schools is buying the old Casey Luna building to house its warehouse and maintenance departments. With bays for vehicle repairs, office space and plenty of room for storing canned foods for the cafeterias and plumbing parts for repairs, it’s a perfect fit.
We’re happy to see these buildings remaining a viable and useful resource for our community. And we congratulate Pastor Jaramillo and his congregation and the Belen Board of Education for thinking outside the box and envisioning what these buildings could become.
We should look at other vacant buildings in our area and consider how they might best be used. It’s a shame for them to remain empty.
readers to share their ideas and opinions with us. Write to Letters, News-Bulletin, P.O. Box 25, Belen, NM 87002 or post your views on the News-Bulletin web page at news-bulletin.com