Military Construction Boosts Connecticut Security

By Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

Construction recently completed by the Connecticut National Guard (CTNG) in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Public Works (DPW) will add to the readiness of the state's military as well as civilian public safety personnel.

In conjunction with the DPW, CTNG hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its latest military construction project, the $5-million renovation and expansion of the Southington Readiness Center. Administered by the DPW, the project has been cited by Governor M. Jodi Rell as a much-needed investment in safety and security, and critical for CTNG soldiers who train at the facility and for emergency personnel who will be able to access it in the event of a natural disaster or other regional crisis.

DPW Commissioner Raeanne V. Curtis and Major General Thaddeus Martin, CTNG Adjutant General, took part in the ribbon-cutting.

Paid for by $700,000 in state funds and $4.3 million in federal funds, the project consisted of renovating the existing 17,000-square-foot Southington Readiness Center, originally built in 1976, and constructing a new 9,100-square-foot cold storage building.

Kronenberger & Sons Restoration, Inc. of Middletown, Conn., had the contract for the Readiness Center renovations, including a new assembly hall, classrooms, administrative offices, a large kitchen, locker rooms, and an exercise room. A new roof, windows, entrances and new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were part of the restoration work, designed by architect SEA Consultants of Rocky Hill, Conn.

The new cold storage building, a pre-engineered metal structure with a reinforced concrete foundation, was constructed by Borghesi Building and Engineering of Torrington. It was designed by Butler Construction of Kansas City for warehouse storage of military supplies. Designated as a Controlled Humidity Preservation Building by CTNG, the facility is meant to ensure that vehicles and equipment are kept mission capable for up to five years with minimal maintenance.

Site work involved installing a new paved parking lot, a back-up generator, a pavilion roof for outside events, a new site security fencing system, and landscaping.

Fulfilling Federal and State Missions

The Southington Readiness Center serves the CTNG's F Company, which provides logistical support for the infantry to conduct its mission, including meals, transportation and vehicle maintenance. Construction at the Center took place under the auspices of the DPW, which is responsible for the design and construction of major capital building projects (except highways and bridges) for most state agencies.

At the October 16 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the upgraded facility, Major General Martin said "With the assistance of our state partners from DPW and the Office of Policy and Management in overseeing the execution and state funding of this project, we now can operate from a facility that supports the requirements and needs of today's soldier."

These National Guard soldiers serve both federal and state missions. The Guard's federal mission is to maintain properly trained and equipped units available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency or as otherwise needed. Its state mission is to provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise required by state laws.

In Connecticut, roughly 4,000 soldiers and 1,000 airmen fulfill these missions. They serve at 32 facilities throughout the state in nearly 300 buildings on more than 2,700 acres. Among the buildings are 21 armories, 10 maintenance shops, two Army Aviation sites, four training sites, four militia sites, and two Air Guard sites. Armories and militia sites are funded by the state, while the federal government funds the other facilities.

The armory in Hartford, an imposing, structure built between 1906 and 1909 at a cost of $869,000, is the oldest and largest armory. Designed by architect Benjamin W. Morris (1870–1944), the Classical Revival-style building was dedicated by President William H. Taft. Today it houses the headquarters of the Connecticut Military Department, the umbrella agency for the state's Army and Air National Guard.

$282 Million In Military Construction

Construction, re-construction, renovation and maintenance work at any of the CTNG facilities are the overall responsibility of the Construction and Facility Management Office (CFMO). Colonel Gerald Lukowski heads this group, which consists of both military and civilian personnel. Among the professionals in this office are three licensed architects (AIA), three registered building officials (BO), two registered land surveyors (LS), and a professional engineer (PE). Other personnel have licenses to perform fire protection, heating, piping, cooling, and plumbing contracting, while another staffer is a fire marshal.

At present the CFMO is planning a $282-million military construction program that spans the period 2008 through 2015. Projects in the program, subject to Congressional and state legislature approval and funding, are listed in the accompanying chart.

Project Location Amount
FYDP 08-13 / REVIT Program
Camp Rell Readiness Center (RC) East Lyme-Camp Rell $ 13,600,000
Rifle Range Improvements East Haven 8,800,000
Regional Training Institute (RTI) East Lyme-Camp Rell 28,000,000
Aviation Transformation RC Windsor Locks - AASF 46,000,000
Maintenance Facility (CSMS) Windsor Locks-Camp Hartell 32,000,000
Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) Middletown (USAR) 75,000,000
Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) Newtown (CTARNG) 51,000,000
LRCP/IRP Program
Civil Support Team (CST) TAG #1 Windsor Locks-Camp Hartell 8,000,000
USPFO Office w/Warehouse TAG #2 Windsor Locks-Camp Hartell 20,000,000
Total All MILCON Programs $282,400,000