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Diving into Construction at North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center

State, City, and school leaders kick off construction of the world class aquatics facility.
January 10, 2024

Today, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Brook Bassan, State Senators Martin Hickey, Daniel Ivey Soto, Harold Pope, State Representatives Marian Matthews, and Bill Rehm, and County Commissioner Walt Benson, gathered to dig in shovels and break ground on the North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center. 

City Councilor Brook Bassan, Mayor Tim Keller, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham at groundbreaking.

The North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center, located next to the North Domingo Baca Multi-Generational Center, will feature a 60-meter-by-25-yard indoor competition pool, a diving pool with three diving boards, a heated indoor 25-yard therapy pool, an outdoor pool with four, 25-yard lap lanes, including a large recreational water play area with two slides and multiple play and spray features. The indoor facility will boast a seating capacity for up to 850 spectators.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham speaking surrounded by City Councilor Brook Bassan, Mayor Tim Keller, and State and County leaders.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham shared; “This facility will also serve as an important place for young athletes to train, the community to gather and an economic boon as competitions and other events are held here. I was proud to contribute $5 million toward this important project.”  

“We’re delivering on the promise of a state of the art aquatics facility for Albuquerque families,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “With the support and commitment of all the partners involved, the City will finally bring this project to life.”

Mayor Tim Keller speaking and surrounded by City Councilor Brook Bassan and State leaders.

“In 2005 a Master Plan to develop the 57-acre North Domingo Baca Park was created, and through the years we’ve worked hard to fundraise and complete nearly every portion of this plan,” said Councilor Bassan. “The aquatics center is the last piece to the puzzle, and it is an honor to be so closely involved in providing the voters that which they have repeatedly requested. I’m so excited to bring this amazing facility to the community of Council District 4, and the metro and state areas in general.”

  City Councilor Brook Bassan speaking at podium next to State and County leaders.

The North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center will offer facilities suitable for hosting all levels of local and state swimming competitions. This means competitive swimming events will remain in here in the City of Albuquerque and bolster our local and state economy. The facility will attract organizations seeking a venue for aquatics events including water polo tournaments and Olympic training. The North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center will offer the University of New Mexico a collegiate aquatics competition facility that meets NCAA standards.

City Councilor Brook Bassan, Mayor Tim Keller, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham with other leaders, shoveling dirt.

Representative Matthews added; “This is an incredibly exciting day not only for this part of our city, but for all of Albuquerque and New Mexico.  The aquatic center is recreation and exercise for all ages, and those with disabilities.  It’s multi-state competitive swimming meets for New Mexico’s kids.  And just maybe it’s the training ground for the next Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky!”

“Wow, I am astonished how many folks in our community have been waiting for the final phases of North Domingo Baca pool, and this is very exciting,” said Representative Bill Rehm. “This community center represents an integral asset to so many and brings our neighborhoods together. I am thankful for the many years of collaboration beginning with former Councilor Brad Winter. This center brought Legislators, City and County officials, and so many neighbors together for such a large project. Now our neighborhood schools have a place for swim practice, and we will be able to hold Olympic swim meets at North Domingo Baca.”

The funding for this facility is sourced from numerous sources within the State, City, and Albuquerque Public Schools all contributing to secure $45,210,830 to date. 

City Councilor Brook Bassan surrounded by Mayor Tim Keller and State and County leaders.

Senator Ivey Soto added; “This facility will be used by all ages and abilities. In addition to swimming competitions, the Aquatic Center will also be able to host altitude training and scuba accessibility and courses for participants aged 10 and older.”

Today’s groundbreaking includes the phase to build the retaining wall and other groundwork to support the Aquatic Center. Basic IDIQ will complete this work with Bruce Martin and Bill White overseeing the project. The architect that created a clear vision for the facility is Joe Gallegos, and team from Huitt-Zollars.

Parks and Recreation will manage and operate this state-of-the-art facility. The City Department of Municipal 

Development is the project manager for the construction.

“The North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center is an incredible example of what can happen when multiple agencies, their representatives, and the people come together to make something happen,” said Senator Moe Maestas. “Congratulations to all in building a world-class facility for our community.”