BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Crews have nearly completed a new Kentucky National Guard Readiness Center in northern Kentucky.
The $18.26 million center in Burlington will house the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion and includes nearly 5 acres of parking, administrative and storage spaces, conference rooms, classrooms and an assembly hall.
Kentucky National Guard design and projects manager Capt. Joseph Sloan told the Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/VEz7D0) that crews are expected to complete work on the 78,000-square-foot project next month and the facility should be "up and running" before the end of April.
"This building is 77,709 square feet, which is massive," he said.
In addition, the site will have its own vehicle maintenance bay and helicopter landing pad.
"I don't think there will be too much to compete with it, especially in our inventory of buildings," he said. "We've learned a lot, but we've applied a lot as well."
Sloan said the National Guard tries to locate readiness centers in different areas of the state to more effectively respond when there's an emergency.
"We had a big gap in our coverage in Northern Kentucky, but also Burlington itself was growing," Sloan said of the decision to locate the facility in the community instead of Independence, where the unit is currently based.
He said officials determined in 2006 that there would be a need for a center in northern Kentucky.
"We've looked at this, starting way back when we were looking at property, as a way for us to build a building that everybody could come to, not just for birthday parties or whatever, but as a central hub (in an) emergency situation," said Sloan. "So a lot of this building has to do with security — not just for our soldiers, but so we know this building will stand up in event of an emergency situation and be able to act as a hub."
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com