ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Downtown Albuquerque is getting a new tenant that’s already made some neighbors uneasy.
On Wednesday, the state board of finance signed off on buying the Plaza Maya building to house probation and parole offices.
Some nearby youth organizations objected last year saying the building would attract convicts and put kids at risk, but the office has also caused problems in its current location in Nob Hill.
In November, that building was hit by a pipe bomb attack, forcing a lock down at a nearby elementary school.
Last spring, a handcuffed probation violator escaped custody and ran into that school to hide in the bathroom.
Corrections secretary Gregg Marcantel has promised any in-person probation and parole meetings will take place at another office.
Marcantel says, “the easy thing for me to do is just to say ‘hey I don’t care what people feel like and fold and bring offenders to there,’ but I’m not building it out that way. If I were, the buildout plan would look a lot different. The budget would look a lot different.”
Andy Braman, who opposes the project, said, “I’m hoping the administration sticks to their word. I have no doubt that they won’t. I’m hopeful that they will and we’ll just see where things go.”
The cost of the new building $1.8 million.