The $ 17.2 million project will replace a structure more than 100 years old. The start of construction is currently planned for December 2022.
Maj. Adam Riedel, of the watch's facility management office, said the armory will be “just over 54,000 square feet by the time it is finished.”
Since 2014, the guard has been keeping an eye on the development of a new armory – or a readiness center in military parlance – in New Ulm. At this time, a new field maintenance workshop, separate from the armory, was proposed, the construction of which is planned for this spring.
According to Riedel, both developments are the result of a standard inspection of the security systems.
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The design of the new armory is expected to last from June this year to next summer. Bids for the construction phase of the project will be accepted from October in accordance with its call for proposals.
The guard already has several ideas for the new armory: one floor of office space, a large assembly hall, a commercial kitchen, a gym with changing room and of course storage space for weapons and other military equipment. Solar power systems, rainwater storage tanks on site and geothermal heating systems are also planned.
75 percent of the funds for the project are provided by the federal government, the rest is financed from state dollars. The guard acquired approximately 30 acres of vacant land to build the armory west of New Ulm near US Route 14.
When the new armory is ready and the guard opens a shop there, the current armory will be offered to local authorities at a “fair market value” before being put on the open market. The guard couldn't immediately tell what the building would be worth.
The fortress-like armory in downtown New Ulm was built in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. City manager Chris Dalton said Friday February 12th that it is possible the city could buy the building but that there are currently no firm plans for it.
The field maintenance shop that is replacing the guard could be of greater interest to the city as it could hypothetically be used for municipal vehicle storage.
“It's a little more conducive to what we'd need as a city,” said Dalton.
The current armory could be an attractive private development project due to its proximity to downtown, according to Dalton.
Contact Matthew Guerry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-321-4314