ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Netflix is planning a major expansion in Albuquerque, but a local charter school is still sitting in the middle of the lot they’re planning to build on. Portables have been part of the International School in Mesa del Sol for years, and soon they’ll finally get a brand new campus.
The massive expansion is now in the works for Netflix’s Albuquerque Studios. Plans show they are adding more stages and backlots on hundreds of acres north and east of their current lineup.
“They actually bought this land almost a year ago,” said Barbra Langmaid, executive director of the Mesa del Sol International School. “You bought 300 acres.”
There are hiccups, however. The school is still sitting in the middle of the property that Netflix bought.
“We’ve been here since 2009,” says Langmaid. “We started with 44 students as a K-4 school and at that point we had six portable devices.”
Now it’s a Pre-K to 12. with more than 20 portable devices. The school plans to vacate the property now owned by Netflix and move to a new campus currently under construction near the Mesa.
“Lockers for the middle and upper school children and a covered outdoor courtyard area for eating and enjoying. They really love the “novelty” compared to the sump coolers or the older buildings or the peeling carpet and things like that, ”said Langmaid, who says the school worked with a company that specializes in charter schools. “They found us across the street because our charter agreement requires us to stay up here on the mesa. We created a design of five buildings that actually represents our logo, which consists of five different colored circles that represent the international rings. “
However, due to construction delays due to the pandemic, the schedule for this move has been extended by months. Now Netflix is starting the dirty work and making site maps with the city, but they have to work at school and put up a privacy fence in the meantime.
“They move dirt, they move utilities, they do all these things and once they have their permits they will build their buildings around us until we evacuate this spring and they will take over this area,” Langmaid said. “They were very kind to give us time on this lease and not let us move or things like that. I think they didn’t realize we would be here for part of their construction, so they were helpful and supportive and good neighbors. “
Heads of the school – who serves students from a number of nearby counties – say the streaming giant has understood the delays so far. Langmaid says they even helped with getting the school approved for its new location.
The International School in Mesa del Sol hopes to be fully relocated to the new campus by the end of March after the spring break, but will begin some relocations later this year. Netflix officials say they plan to discuss the site plans in more depth during the November 3rd meeting of the Development Review Board.