National Guard center on target for July completion
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008
By ROBIN SHANNON
RESERVE – Short of a few odds and ends on interior portions of the building, construction supervisors at The Louisiana National Guard Readiness Center say the facility is very close to completion.
Project Manager Kent Liliedahl of Aegis Construction said the 40,000 square foot building is right on schedule, and should be complete by the end of July 2008.
“There are no foreseeable delays, and there is little left to do,” said Liliedahl. “It has been a good project to work on.”
Once it is complete, the readiness center will be the stationing point for the 1084th Transportation Company for the Louisiana National Guard. St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the facility would mostly be used as a deployment facility for the Guard, while preparing for any sort of natural disaster
that may plague the area. He said the Guard considered several sites statewide before deciding on St. John Parish.
“It was thought as the best place for deployment of troops,” said Boe. “We are on high ground, we are in close proximity to two major cities, and two interstate interchanges run through the area. The Guard felt this would be the best place to serve the region.”
Liliedahl said the project has enjoyed a great working relationship with St. John Parish, as well as the Guard.
The on-site staff will be small in number, with a Captain and First Sergeant available at all times. The facility is set up to support about 176 guardsmen during any event that requires the mobilization of forces.
Liliedahl said the center has been built to withstand 150 mile per hour winds, and could be used as a hurricane shelter should the need arise. The center was built on 15-acres of parish-donated land between Regala Park and the St. John Airport. It will replace the company’s previous home, Camp Villere, near Slidell, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.