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The original item was published from 8/20/2021 11:22:00 AM to 1/1/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Farmington Spotlight

Posted on: August 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Farmington Municipal Schools Donates Former Tibbetts Middle School Site to the City of Farmington

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Farmington Municipal Schools Donates Former Tibbetts Middle School Site

to the City of Farmington

City exploring opportunities for an All Abilities Park


FARMINGTON, N.M. - Farmington Municipal Schools (FMS) announces that the site of the former Tibbetts Middle School has been donated to the City of Farmington. The donation, which has been in the works for close to three years, highlights the continued collaboration between the district and the city on ways to improve/better Farmington. The renovated Emma Weaver Library will be included in a formal agreement for the 4,000 square feet lot.


“It is with great pleasure that we announce the donation of the former Tibbetts Middle School. We want to reaffirm our commitment to the City of Farmington, making sure that our lots and buildings in the city can be repurposed to serve the community, which is simply the best thing we can do for Farmington,” said Dr. Eugene Schmidt, Superintendent of Farmington Schools.


The City of Farmington is exploring and giving serious consideration to building an All Abilities Park on the seven-acre parcel of property. If built, the park will be the first fully-inclusive accessible and adaptive playground in San Juan County boasting amenities such as:


  • Inclusive and accessible play equipment
  • A pedestrian path and loop trail
  • Play/activity areas with perimeter fencing and special surfacing
  • Sensory play areas
  • Visual impairment areas
  • Therapeutic elements
  • Outdoor musical instruments
  • Adaptive swings/wheelchair swings
  • Sports areas
  • Shade structures
  • Bathroom facilities with changing amenities and more   

Programming opportunities could include:  

  • Therapy training for outpatient services
  • Schools, early intervention, therapy dog, day-hab services, and nursing home mobility trips
  • Elderly and pediatric integration programs
  • Wheelchair assessments
  • Kids fitness (obesity and diabetic programs)
  • Cardiac patient recovery programs
  • Ambulation training
  • Vestibular input for traumatic brain injuries and those on the autism spectrum
  • Life skills for victims of strokes or those with mental and developmental disabilities 
  • Recreation to include programs such as adaptive yoga, sports and play.

This multimillion-dollar project will include several phases. Farmington City Council approved funding for the conceptual design and to further explore the possible project. The City’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs department applied for the Resilient Park Access Grant with the National Recreation and Park Association and were awarded $300k to cover the cost of construction design documents. 


In addition, a grass root community group has formed the Tibbetts All Ability Park (TAAP) Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, to promote and fundraise for the development of the All Abilities Park. 


Mayor Duckett said the following about the project, “The City of Farmington would like to thank Farmington Municipal Schools for this generous donation. Under the direction of the city and in conjunction with local donors and national grants, the former Tibbets Middle School property will continue to provide our community with accessible outdoor recreation opportunities with the development of an All Abilities Park. This park would be similar to A Park Above located in Rio Rancho and would be Farmington’s first and only all-inclusive playground for people of all ages and abilities. Please watch for updates and opportunities to provide public input as we develop this highly anticipated amenity in our city.”


Anyone who would like to contribute to the project may contact Marilyn at the Tibbetts All Ability Park Foundation at (505) 330-4811 or email




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