New National Guard building could begin in May

Construction on new headquarters for the Nevada National Guard should begin by May.

By summer 2001, guardsmen and officers will move from their South Carson Street site to the new State Area Readiness Command Facility, a roughly 79,000-square-foot facility at the corner of South Edmonds and Fairview drives.

The National Guard headquarters currently sits on a six-acre site on South Carson Street with buildings built between 1962 and 1975. The site is crammed into 1960s spacing criteria with about 30,000-square-feet of space, said Lt. Col. Terry Sullivan, National Guard construction and facilities management officer.

Sullivan said the South Carson site was ending its useful life and maintenance costs were above what they should be.

The current headquarters consist of three small buildings, an annex and a couple of trailers, he said. The buildings aren't heated nor do they have adequate lighting. They also have little classroom space.

"There's a lot to be said about your work space," Sullivan said. "Our two-star general doesn't have a window in his office because it was built in 1962 when they were worried about 'the bomb' going off. We haven't done anything in Carson City since 1975."

The new building will unite the guard in one location for administration, supply and maintenance facilities, an armory strategic command complex. It will provide state-of-the-art classrooms and an auditorium which can be used for meetings and conferences.

The building also will have new drill halls and distance learning centers, Sullivan said. He added that it will all be open to the public. An equipment display area of historically interesting guard vehicles will stand at the entrance.

Morale is important to the National Guard which represents 40 percent of the U. S. military, Sullivan said. The site will equate readiness and help increase morale among guard members, he added. Location along Fairview Drive will be handy with the addition of the freeway. Fairview Drive is planned as a freeway exit, and trucks loaded with all manner of equipment from the guard will be able to access the site for repairs without traversing city streets.

Project planning on the facility began in 1997. It is scheduled to built in three phases on a 28-acre site. A 40,000-square-foot maintenance shop already exists at the site and the Readiness Facility will be added by 2001.

"It's amazing," Sullivan said. "It's like giving birth to an elephant. It's a long process, but we're just excited about the whole thing."

Eventually, a 20,000-square-foot United States Property and Fiscal Office and a 10,000-square-foot warehouse will be built. The office is the supply and funding link between the federal and state levels of the National Guard.

The $8.3 million project, excluding the building, is being built with 75 percent federal money. The federal government chipped in about $5.5 million, and the state added about $2.9 million.

The state still owns the South Carson Street site. Sullivan said "no plans have been made for the property."


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