National Guard Seeks $9-Million For St. Cloud Armory Remodel
ST. CLOUD -- A nearly 60-year-old St. Cloud building is looking for some financial help from the government to get a much needed upgrade.
The Minnesota National Guard Readiness Center, formerly known as the armory, was built in 1960 and with the change in our society no longer meets code.
Major General Jon Jensen says they are looking at $8.9-million to rehabilitate the building, which he calls a key piece of their organization.
"It's a big unit, it's close to Camp Ripley, very close to a major state university and good infrastructure when you look at transportation. St. Cloud is a key note for the Minnesota National Guard."
Major Patrick Foley is the officer in charge of the 682nd Engineer Battalion, which is the largest unit stationed in the facility. He says some of the key repairs include locker room and restroom expansions, HVAC upgrades, asbestos removal, better accessibility and a 1,500 square-foot expansion.
"What we looking at doing is to make this open space usable for office and storage space, then create a mechanical mezzanine on top that can feed multiple wings of the building."
Governor Mark Dayton is recommending about $4.45-million in state bonding money to go towards the project. The remaining amount would come from federal funding.
Minnesota Department of Administration Commissioner Matt Massman says it's important to upkeep the historic buildings the state currently uses.
"The governor has made a strong case for the priority of this bonding bill to take care of the needs and assets we already have across the state."
The St. Cloud facility has over 300 soldiers assigned to it. If the funding is approved, the National Guard hopes to begin remodeling the building in the summer of 2019, which could take over 18 months to complete.