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Minnesota National Guard
Armory Renovations Starting Soon

State, Feds Combine in Million Dollar Project

A $12 million state- and federal-funded renovation project will begin soon at the Sauk Centre Armory

And according to area legislators, it's good news for Sauk Centre

Late Wednesday afternoon 20 members and staff on the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee, led by chair Sen Keith Langseth, toured the armory; one stop on a three-day tour throughout Minnesota looking at projects seeking state funding in the 2008 Legislative Session Sen Joe Gimse, representing this district, was also present, along with Rep Bud Heidgerken

In an interview later, Sen Gimse explained in the budget cycle the legislature allocated significant amounts of money to maintain armories and other military facilities

"While the legislature doesn't directly tell the Veterans Administration how or where to spend those dollars, we keep a very close eye on how the money is spent," said Gimse

He said the Sauk Centre Armory project was rated for its importance and this year received the state and federal funding necessary to complete the project

The armory was built between 1920 and 1030 and has undergone renovations over the years, the last being in 2002 when the kitchen and bathrooms were remodeled and a new boiler system installed At that time a six-inch water main was put in to update a sprinkler system but not enough funds were available to complete the project at that time in this state-owned facility

The current armory project, awarded to Breitbach Construction of Elrosa, will include installation of a new fire sprinkler system, ventilation system, upgrades of the fire alarm system and electrical wiring in offices on the main floor and second floor, including an addition of male and female locker rooms and restrooms

The condemned firing range in the back of the armory, used lately for storage, will be sealed off Stairways will be moved and widened, interior walls moved, ceilings lowered and a walkway to the storage shed will be constructed When the project is completed it should meet all state and federal codes for occupancy

The project is estimated to be completed by next July, according to SFC Brent Henry

The Armory staff will be present, but working out of a mobile office on site The unit will drill at Camp Ripley until the renovation project is completed

"I am impressed with the extent of the renovations and the effectiveness of the process the Veterans Administration used to see that this very important project is getting done," said Gimse "Once the renovations are completed we will have an excellent facility that will serve our National Guard Unit's needs as well as those of our community"

By Carol Moorman and Bryan Zollman
Sauk Centre Herald
Article source: http://www.saukherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=12&SubSectionID=48&ArticleID=8238&TM=9871.49

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