Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Around Town

Minor snags stall Roosevelt School sale

—Bill Diven

Like an anxious buyer offering to buy his dream home, Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres expected the purchase of seven acres of surplus school property and buildings behind Town Hall would be done by now.

So did Superintendent Alan Tapia of the Bernalillo Public Schools (BPS). Both thought approval by the State Board of Finance (BOF) on July 21 would be the final hurdle in selling the Roosevelt School complex.

Now, it appears the sale can’t close until at least the middle of this month, although the delay is not, as first described, an unexpected review of the proposed $1.25 million dollar deal by the Attorney General’s Office.

At the July meeting, Board of Finance spent barely 15 minutes hearing from Tapia, Torres, and BOF staff before approving the sale with two added contingencies to be met: BPS needed to show it had offered the property to charter schools and that the buildings no longer met standards for use by public schools.

“We turned in the paperwork on the contingencies, and the town council is meeting Monday (August 24),” Tapia told the Signpost. “They need to OK the new agreement with the contingencies.”

The Bernalillo Board of Education already had given Tapia the authority to sign the new agreement without further board action.

Confirming the contingencies are satisfied will be up to Assistant Attorney General Luis Carrasco, who is a member of the Board of Finance, Tapia said. The Public Education Department also has to sign off on the sale, but the superintendent said he’s been assured that’s only a formality following final BOF approval.

Then it’s back to the BOF, likely at its September 15 meeting, for the final OK before the town and district can seal the deal.

During the BOF meeting, Tapia said one charter school had inquired about the property but decided it would be too costly to upgrade it. And the state deemed the Roosevelt complex below school standards a few years before it was vacated in 2012 in favor of the renovated Carroll Elementary School and new Bernalillo Elementary, he added.

Once the sale goes through, Torres said the immediate plan is to move the Martha Liebert Public Library into the former school library, a two-story adobe building erected in the 1930s as the town’s all-grades school. The building, on its own separate property within the complex, is on the State Register of Cultural Properties.

The remainder of the buildings date from the 1940s to the 1970s. The district had considered moving its central offices there but instead decided that buying a former state office building on Camino del Pueblo would make more financial sense.

Torres said some town offices will probably move into former school buildings, and the property will provide needed parking for Town Hall. The Sandoval County Fire Department also has approached the town about office space there, he added.

“We certainly don’t need fifty thousand square feet of space of building at this point, but we can certainly use that for both nonprofits and government agencies that are desperate for space within the town of Bernalillo,” Torres said.

The Roosevelt property initially was appraised at $2.2 million dollars with the district receiving only one lowball offer, Tapia said. But after three years of vandalism, theft, and minimal maintenance, a new appraisal came in at $1.29 million dollars with the town offering slightly less.

“We have the money in the bank,” Torres told the Board of Finance.

The mayor said the money comes from funds the town set aside over the last five years through aggressive budget management and collecting state and federal reimbursements past due on town projects.

Since taking office, Torres along with town councilors and staff have succeeded in getting the budget under control and becoming current with state audits that were years overdue. Resolving the last big accounting issue—adjusting accounts that don’t balance from years past—is moving ahead under a plan the state approved earlier this year.

Brew Fest hops in Bernalillo

The Town of Bernalillo and New Mexico Brewers Guild have launched ticket sales for the Mountain West Brew Fest to be held September 5 and 6 at Loretto Park in Bernalillo. The Mountain West Brew Fest will celebrate craft beer and artisanal cider from some of the top producers across New Mexico and the Mountain West. Brew Fest attendees can expect over fifty breweries, more than a dozen food trucks and specialty food vendors, as well as a mini farmers market, offering seasonal harvests including roasted green chile and Rio Grande valley peaches. Eight bands from around the region will perform over the two-day inaugural event. More information is available at

The Rail Runner will have special late-night hours to and from the festival. See for the modified train schedule.

National Library Card sign-up month

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. The Martha Liebert Town of Bernalillo Public Library will be having month-long events to celebrate. New patrons will have the chance to win a book. We will be giving away bookmarks to anyone who shows us their library card. Also, a story and craft day will be held on September 16.

Bound for Success offers mini-grants

Bound for Success is offering its second round of mini-grants to women who have an idea for becoming financially self-sufficient. Grants of up to five hundred dollars will be awarded to help make your dreams come true.

Put your ideas in writing and let us know what the monies would be used for. Want to take a computer class? Start a web site? Increase salsa sales? Need quilting materials? Start a landscape service? Need blank canvases?

You know your hearts desires. Now put them out into the universe!

A small group of like-minded women will review your request and let you know by October 31, 2015, if you are a recipient. At that point, an informal meeting will be scheduled and the amount of your grant will be disbursed at that time.

We look forward to helping make your dreams come true. Mail your proposal to: BFS, P.O. Box 1960, Bernalillo, NM 87004. No telephone inquiries.

Corrales Historical Society—“Save the Old Church”

Donations are being sought to help with storm damage repairs and preservation of the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales.

For over forty years, it has been the mission of Corrales Historical Society (CHS) to restore and maintain the Old San Ysidro Church, located in the historic Village of Corrales. The Old Church dates back to 1868 and is listed on both the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places. To make a donation to the preservation of the Old Church, visit the website: and click on “Donate to ROCK Fund.” Or send a check to: CHS Rock Fund, P.O. Box 1051, Corrales, NM 87048. To become a member of CHS, contact the membership chairperson, Jan Protz, at or 890-5953.CHS.

Sandoval agent to speak about organic gardening

Want to grow vegetables in an environmentally safe, healthy, and sustainable manner? Sandoval Extension Agriculture Agent Lynda Garvin will speak at the Gardening with Masters lecture series on September 1, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the Meadowlark Senior Center. Garvin will present organic gardening basics including soil health, site and plant selection, planting patterns, watering, pest management, and more. The format will provide an opportunity for questions from participants in an educational atmosphere. The lecture is free and open to the public. No registration is required. This series is sponsored by the Sandoval County Extension Master Gardeners. For more information, go to or call 867-2582.

Master Gardener Program offers training

Applications are now being taken for the New Mexico State University Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training Program for 2016. The program is designed to train volunteers to educate and inform members of their communities about appropriate, sustainable, and environmentally friendly gardening techniques. The 16-week course will begin on January 12, 2016, and end April 26, 2016. Classes will be held every Tuesday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Sandoval County Extension Office, located in the Sandoval Court House in the Town of Bernalillo. To become certified as a Sandoval County Master Gardener, you are required to complete forty hours of classes, which includes testing and thirty hours of volunteer work. The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program has limited seating with first priority given to Sandoval County residents. The deadline to apply is December 11, 2015. The cost is $125 dollars. The class fills quickly with a wait list so early applications are advised. For more information and to obtain a Master Gardener application, contact the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service at 867-2582 or toll free 1 (800) 678-1802. The application is available online at An informational meeting for those interested in the Master Gardener program will be held on September 10, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Office, 711 S. Camino del Pueblo, in Bernalillo.

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