Future Archive Center To Make Big Impact

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Since 1880, Tierra Amarilla has served as the location for the County Seat of Rio Arriba. Since then, a deep-rooted history has been established in that area and in 2000, a flood threatened to destroy a significant part of that history when it entered the County Courthouse storage basement and almost permanently destroyed important County records. Now, the County intends to make sure that will never happen again through the development of its long-awaited Archive Center to be located in Tierra Amarilla, next to the County Administration Building. The future 11,500-square-foot, multi-million dollar building is intended to keep all County records, physical and digital, as well as house the offices of the County Assessor, Treasurer and Clerk. Archival space will be available for each department, as well as for administrative purposes of the County Manager’s department.

“Since I became Commissioner, this project has been a dream of mine and advocating for it was very important to me. It’s unfortunate that all these years we did not have a proper archive building, but I am so proud to say that it will soon be a reality,” said District 3 Commissioner, Felipe Martinez. “I believe this addition will be very beneficial, not just for the County to become more efficient and technically advanced, but also very much for the public, as it will allow them easier access to any historical records in our data base as well as allow them a proper venue to keep and preserve important present, and future records.”

According to County Grants and Contracts Administrator, Philip Morfin, this will be very important for how the County operates. “We have documents such as contracts, franchise agreements, ordinances, inventory records and warrantee deeds, some of which have a long life and may be renewed. In order to function more effectively and orderly, we must have a way to preserve and protect such documents,” said Morfin. The building will be customized through humidity and temperature control to preserve records, as well as provide cautionary protections against flood and fire hazards.

Morfin added that something the public, as well as the County employees dwelling in the future building, will have to look forward to, is the accessibility of the building, which is another improvement from the security measures people must take now to enter the courthouse, where the records are still kept. This allows for traffic to enter and exit the building more quickly as well as allow staff to navigate the building more easily.

According to County Assistant Manager, David Trujillo, ground breaking for the project should have happened in October of 2011, but due to complexities in attaining the property, construction has been delayed. Currently, the County is anticipating that property rights will be awarded by May of 2012. Until then, bids for the architecture contract are open.       

-Erika Martinez, March 2012