Gov. Steve Beshear has announced plans to build a new Kentucky Army National Guard Readiness Center in Owensboro. The new $14 million facility will be located on 20 acres of land adjacent to the Owensboro Airport. Construction is expected to begin this month and will take between 12-18 months to complete.
Primarily designed to provide the Kentucky Army National Guard a regional base of operations, the $14 million facility will consist of 57,644 s.f. of administrative offices, storage facilities, classrooms and drill hall. Twenty-five percent – or approximately $3.5 million – of the total cost is state-funded through the Department of Military Affairs.
“This new readiness center will give us ready access for aircraft during natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and winter storms as well as homeland security missions,” said Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini. “It will also be used to conduct training for federal, state and local civilian authorities, and to provide a rapid-response facility for search and rescue missions in conjunction with the Civil Air Patrol and other emergency agencies.”
The City of Owensboro has announced plans to acquire the site of the former armory in an effort to financially assist the National Guard in the project. The land will be used as part of the city’s ongoing downtown development.
Approximately 17 full-time and 163 part-time personnel will be employed at the new readiness center. The facility will be home to two Kentucky Army National Guard units, Headquarters Support Company and Forward Support Company, both of which are with the 206 Engineer Battalion.