$25 Million In Upgrades Proposed For Six Minnesota Armories
Members of the Minnesota National Guard met in St. Cloud today to discuss the future of armories throughout the state. A $25 million renovation project was explained, with half of the money coming from state funding and half coming from federal funding.
“As good Minnesota common sense tells us: when the roof leaks, you have to fix it,” says Commissioner Mark Massman of the Minnesota Department of Administration.
Improvements to National Guard armories are a part of Governor Mark Dayton’s $1.5 billion bonding proposal.
“A key part of the need to do this is that these are local projects. This is local work that needs to be done. This is work that impacts safety and communities that these facilities serve,” says Massman.
One of the six armories slated for renovation is in Brainerd. $8.2 million is needed for the proposed upgrades, with half coming from the state and half coming from federal funding.
The building’s old age means that essential repairs are needed: getting the windows to code, adding insulation to the walls and roofs, removing the HVAC system, and complying with current health standards.
We’re going to be going into it and doing asbestos mediation and mitigation,” says said Sol Sukut, construction and facilities management officer. “There were still things like floor tiles and ceiling tiles back when it was constructed that had asbestos backing.”
Improvements to the armory will impact the entire Brainerd community, due to the large amount of use of their facilities.
“There are weddings, the youth basketball teams play there, we have community volleyball, we have blood drives almost monthly,” says Capt. Joseph Howe. “The community will definitely have a positive impact because of these improvements.”
The upgrades will help preserve the armory that is both important for today’s use and remembering yesterday’s history. Over 100 families attended the Bataan wreath-laying ceremony in Brainerd earlier this week.
If the proposal passes, construction will begin on the Brainerd Armory in the summer of 2020 and take 18 months to complete.