SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois National Guard today broke ground on a much-anticipated Regional Training Institute (RTI) facility at Camp Lincoln. The specially designed educational training facility will provide more than 110,000 square feet of teaching and training space for more than 200 soldiers.
“This is an extremely important project for the Illinois National Guard, and the state of Illinois,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “This project took years to realize and when it’s complete, it will serve as a learning hub for our Illinois soldiers.”
"When this project is complete, soldiers will have a state-of-the-art training facility with computerized classrooms and learning center that will train our future military leaders. As both a career soldier and educator, I know how much this complex will mean to our soldiers. It's a win-win situation for all concerned," said Maj. Gen. Randal Thomas, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard.
Groundbreaking on the new RTI follows many years of planning. The new facility replaces 10 separate 50-year-old buildings that were inadequate to meeting the mission of the Illinois Army National Guard. The new facility will include administrative office space, classrooms, conference rooms, an auditorium, a dining facility, a library, a computer learning center, a multipurpose room, and a physical fitness room. It will also provide lodging for more than 200 students and support staff. The completed facility will also have back-up power generating capability in the event an electric power loss.
The RTI provides professional soldier skill training, as well as classes for officers, non-commissioned officers, enlisted personnel and specialized leaders courses.
"I am ecstatic to see the construction of this much-needed facility," commented Lt. Col. David Matakas, 129th RTI operations officer. "This project will be a great asset to the soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard."
Construction on the RTI is expected to take about 14 months, with the Illinois Army National Guard taking occupancy of the new facility anticipated sometime in August 2007. The $16.5 million facility is 100 percent federally funded, however, the state of Illinois is providing $700,000 for project design and construction.
Siciliano, of Springfield, is the general contractor for the project. FWAI Architects Inc. of Springfield is the architectural firm for the project. Other contractors on the project include electric contractor, B & B Electric, Inc. of Springfield; fire protection contractor, E. L. Pruitt Company of Springfield; plumbing contractor, Commercial Mechanical, Inc. of Dunlap; ventilation contractor, Doyle Sheet Metal Company of Jacksonville, and heating and air conditioning contractor Gingher Process Piping, Inc. of East Peoria.