New Armed Forces Reserve Center to Be Built at Kentucky Airport

Nov. 25--Work will begin next month to raze the Civil Air Patrol building at Barkley Regional Airport to make way for a large new Armed Forces Reserve Center.

Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, adjutant general of the Kentucky National Guard, will be at the airport at 10 a.m. Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 80,000 square-foot center.

It will be built on a 20-acre site along Old U.S. 60 from east of the National Weather Service office to the current Civil Air Patrol building.

Construction of the $16 million facility is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in the summer of 2008, said Col. Phil Miller, public information officer for the Kentucky National Guard.

The new facility will accommodate the 2113th Transportation Company from the Kentucky Army National Guard, units of the U.S. Army Reserve, the Civil Air Patrol and the regional office of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.

It will replace the Kentucky Army National Guard Armory on Clark Street, Army Reserve centers on Park Avenue and North 12th Street, and the Civil Air Patrol building.

The project is part of the federal Base Realignment and Closure Act 2006 to modernize and consolidate facilities to reduce maintenance and utility costs, as well as provide a facility more suited for today's reserve military role.

In addition to a building to accommodate offices and meeting rooms, a second building will be constructed for use as a warehouse.

It not only will reduce operating costs and improve the efficiency of the military units, but will provide a centralized location for responding to natural disasters such as storms or an earthquake, according to Barkley Airport Manager Richard Roof.

Roof also said its location at the airport is important because it will provide storage facilities if emergency supplies need to be flown to western Kentucky.

The center will be paid for by the federal government but owned by the state. The airport board is leasing the land for $1 per year.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Paducah Sun, Ky. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.