FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Monday, June 21, 2010
Air Force Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/21/10) – The Colorado Army National Guard will break ground on its newest community-based readiness center Tuesday, June 22, beginning at 1:25 p.m. in the Colorado National Guard’s Field Maintenance Shop No. 3 located at 2810 Riverside Pkwy., in Grand Junction.
The site will open to the media and public at 12:30 p.m. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr., is scheduled to attend.
The new Readiness Center will house Company C, one of five companies of the new 1st Battalion, 157th Light Infantry, as well as the 947th Engineer Company.
This unit will have more than 800 community-based Citizen-Soldiers in six elements, bringing new jobs to Colorado. New readiness centers are needed for these Soldiers in five communities across Colorado to include Alamosa, Fort Lupton, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and Windsor.
The construction plans for the estimated 35,000-square-foot building include an assembly area and home for its tenant units, comprised of both traditional Guardsmen and a small number of full-time Soldiers. The building’s architecture will integrate features from the surrounding environment, while landscaping and parking facilities complement neighboring facilities. The Readiness Center will additionally be available for community events for a nominal fee and serve as an operations center and/or a shelter during state emergencies.
The 10-acre site is located to the northwest of the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at the corner of Riverside Parkway, formerly D Road, and Evergreen Road.
Construction will cost $11,000,000. Drawdown of federal funds following allocation of state funds will finance 75% of construction costs and the full cost for equipment and furniture provided for such facilities, resulting in an economic impact on surrounding communities in the millions.
Construction is expected to start in September 2010 and be completed by December 2011.
One of the prime project goals is to achieve the minimum of a Silver Rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainability features of the building include water and energy saving measures, improved indoor environmental quality, and using local building materials during construction.
Because of the speed in which the COARNG has been growing, the construction of the new Readiness Center is essential to support the increase in the number of troops and to support National Guard missions both at home, during state emergencies, and in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
The COARNG has not had an infantry unit the since the 1950s, when the 157th Infantry was re-designated as a field artillery.
The 157th Infantry Regiment has a long and distinguished history of combat service, having fought at Sicily, Salerno and Anzio in World War II, and the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau.
The 947th Engineer Company is a relatively new unit that specializes in horizontal construction projects such as building and enhancing roads, ditches and combat trails. As a testament to the National Guard’s community-centered missions the 947th has been at the forefront of several community improvement projects.
The architect for this project is Coover-Clark & Associates, Inc., from Denver, and the general contractor is the local FCI Constructors Inc., from Grand Junction.
For more than 150 years, the men and women of the Colorado National Guard have served in the wartime defense of our nation and as the first military responders during domestic emergencies.
FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: The site will open to the media and public at 12:30 p.m.
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