MT. VERNON – Leaders from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration today broke ground on the new Mt. Vernon Readiness Center that will be home to units from the Illinois Army National Guard and Army Reserves. Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, and Capital Development Board Executive Director Jim Riemer participated in the ceremony.
“This new facility will help keep the men and women of the Illinois Army National Guard and Reserves highly trained and ready for any situation,” said Governor Blagojevich. “I look forward to seeing the Readiness Center completed, as it will truly be an asset to our servicemen and women.”
The $23 million federally-funded, state administered construction project will create an 85,000 square foot Readiness Center for the Illinois National Guard. The Readiness center will replace the Mt. Vernon and Salem armories and a leased facility. It will include maintenance bays, administrative space, classrooms, simulation rooms, support storage areas, an assembly hall, kitchen, physical fitness room, and locker rooms. There will also be a 2,100 square foot unheated metal storage building, a 6,075 square yard secure military vehicle parking lot with an access drive, a 12,016 square yard public parking lot, lighting, and landscaping.
Bids were let on April 10 and construction began June 10 with expected completion by August 2010. The project is being designed by FGM Architects, Inc. of O’Fallon, Illinois. The general contractor is Shores Builders Inc. of Centralia; plumbing, Rend Lake Plumbing, Bonnie, IL; heating, Industrial Mechanical Contractors LLC, Centralia; ventilation, France Mechanical, Edwardsville; sprinkler systems, Automatic Fire Sprinkler, Normal; and temperature control, Controlco Inc. of East Alton. The construction project is being coordinated by the Capital Development Board (CDB), which administers all state facility construction projects.
“The Capital Development Board is proud to be involved in this project that will benefit the members of our Armed Forces,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Riemer, a U.S. Army veteran who was wounded in action in Vietnam.