SPARTA – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a capital investment of more than $370,000 to upgrade the Illinois Army National Guard Sparta Training Area operated by the Illinois Department of Military Affairs. The upgrades are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“This project will improve the infrastructure of the Sparta Training Area and will ensure our great citizen-soldiers have a safe training environment,” Governor Quinn said. “These upgrades will also employ a number of construction workers, which will help the local economy.”
The 2,600-acre Sparta Training Area houses the 661st Engineer Company and the 661st and 662nd Engineer Firefighting teams. Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen use the training area for grenade qualification; land navigation training; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training; convoy operations training; and engineering, firefighting, aviation and waterborne operations training.
“The Sparta Training Area is a tremendous training resource for our Soldiers and Airmen,” Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, said. “This project will enhance our ability to maintain the highest state of readiness and ensure we are fully prepared to respond to emergencies in Illinois and to contingency operations around the world.”
The work will involve the construction of a military vehicle parking area, security fencing, gate, and associated lighting. Carl Bannister Excavating Service, Inc. of Sparta was the lowest of four bidders for the general construction work at $288,692. F.W. Electric, Inc. of Benton was the lowest of five bidders for the electrical work with a quote of $81,347.
“We are pleased that the Army Guard’s training area is going to be updated and modernized,” State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) said. “Our citizen soldiers need to have the best facilities possible in order to be better prepared for their missions at home and abroad.”
The project will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board and uses federal funds administered by the State of Illinois.