FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, Aug. 5, 2011
Air Force Capt. Darin Overstreet
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (8/5/11) – The Colorado Army National Guard will open its newest Readiness Center in Fort Lupton on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. at County Road 31 and 9th Street.
The Fort Lupton Readiness Center will be the home for 131 Citizen-Soldiers, including five full-time members, who will perform weekend training and unit administration. Most of the Citizen-Soldiers who will serve here live within a 50-mile radius.
The annual economic impact from their combined salaries is estimated at $1.3 million.
Congressional dignitaries, Colorado National Guard senior leaders and civic leaders will attend the event.
This readiness center will better enable the COARNG to provide surrounding communities military support during state emergencies.
Colorado National Guard members serve one weekend per month and two weeks per year as a minimum commitment. Soldiers can work for civilian employers full-time while they earn extra money, gain valuable training that’s transferrable to civilian careers, and earn military and education benefits – advantages for students and families in the midst of the economic downturn.
“Having readiness centers in communities across Colorado positions us to better fulfill our state mission as a force multiplier for civil first responders who ask for our help,” said Army Lt. Col. Kevin Kick, director of Joint Operations for the Colorado National Guard.
The Fort Lupton center will be one of five readiness centers used to house elements of the 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry, the Colorado Army National Guard’s newest light infantry unit. The 1-157th Infantry will have ties to communities across Colorado, and is awaiting approval for state funds to build an additional readiness center to support Soldiers in Alamosa.
“The construction of new armories is a high priority for the Colorado Army National Guard, which needs to grow in strength to continue to be always ready, always there for our communities, state, and nation,” said the Adjutant General of Colorado, Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards. “To the Fort Lupton community, this armory project will bring federal and state dollars and jobs, and an economic impact in the millions.”
Readiness centers, built on state land, are constructed with federal and state funding. The State of Colorado is required to provide the land, offsite utility infrastructure costs and 25 percent of the construction costs for these new facilities. The federal government bears the remaining 75 percent of readiness center construction costs and the full cost of equipment and furniture.
The 35,000 square-foot building contains an assembly hall, classrooms, a library, a learning center, a kitchen, a recruiting office, a physical fitness area and restrooms. The building’s architecture integrates with the surrounding environment and includes appropriate landscape and parking facilities.
The center will additionally serve the community as a venue for social events and as a disaster relief command center during state emergencies.
The 25-acre site is located on the southwest corner of County Road 31 and 9th Street. Construction costs were nearly $11 million. Construction started in December 2009.
The CONG is striving to attain Leadership in Energy and an Environmental Design Gold Rating as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Final rating is pending. Sustainability features of the building include water and energy saving measures, indoor environmental quality, and using local building materials during construction.
For nearly 150 years, the Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen 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: News media representatives are encouraged to cover the ribbon cutting by prior arrangement with Colorado National Guard Public Affairs. Remarks by Colorado National Guard and community leaders will begin at 2 p.m. at County Road 31 and 9th Street. A reception will follow.
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