Armory renovation making progress
Published 10:07 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015
A.L. building seeing $1.6M in upgrades
Work is ongoing in the National Guard Armory in Albert Lea as part of a $1.6 million renovation project to upgrade the facility.
On Tuesday, contractors poured cement to replace sections of flooring in the gym, and other crews worked on skylights for the building.
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In addition, the renovations call for replacing windows, upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and painting the entire facility, said Wade Scepurek, project manager, who works out of the Camp Ripley training center near Little Falls.
Furnaces will be updated to use natural gas, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Barker.
Scepurek said crews will upgrade the fire alarm system for the building, along with telephone and fiber. There will be new display cases in the foyer, new toilet partitions and fixtures in the bathrooms and a new public address system.
“We’re basically upgrading the whole facility,” Scepurek said.
The work comes as contractors recently completed work on the Austin armory and are just starting the design on the one in Rochester. The armory in Owatonna has almost competed the design phase.
Scepurek said the armory renovations are part of a larger effort to upgrade the older armories in the state. The last time the Albert Lea location was renovated was six to eight years ago when a new roof was installed. A parking lot was put in last fall. The building was built in 1988.
Scepurek said Gopher State Contractors of Rice is the general contractor for the project and was approved to start work in February. The company gets a year to complete the upgrades.
He said local Delta Company soldiers, which are part of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment within the 34th “Red Bull” Division of the Minnesota National Guard, are serving in Austin while the renovations are under way.
Scepurek said the project is being paid for through a combination of state and federal dollars.
The armory is used for local training by National Guard soldiers and by the public in the event of an emergency.
Barker said the facility is also used for volleyball games by the city, along with some wedding receptions.