by Pam Zubeck
Fort Carson isn't the only military installation that's getting ready to bulk up with more construction projects.
A $24.9 million Colorado National Guard readiness center will be built on Air Force Academy grounds beginning this summer, pending approval for extension of city sewer service to the facility site.
Today, Colorado Springs City Council will be asked to approve that extension. City policy requires those who receive utility services outside the city's service area, generally the city limits, to agree to be annexed at a future date. The readiness center will never be annexed, so the Council is faced with making an exception to its rules. (The new readiness center already lies within Springs Utilities' gas, power and water territories.)
According to Utilities documents, the readiness center will be about 65,000 square feet and sit directly west of the intersection of Voyager Parkway and Springcrest Road. Here's a map:
The facility's entire $24.9 million cost will be paid by the federal government, according to a Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee briefing by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for the 2011-12 year.
Construction begins this summer, the report says, and is part of preparations for a new infantry battalion:
In October 2007, the Federal National Guard Bureau awarded a new 800 soldier infantry battalion to Colorado. This increase in National Guard strength will bring $8.2 million in annual federal
payroll to the State, and require the construction of five new readiness centers (armories) around the
state. The federal government will provide about $63 million in construction funds, while the state
must provide $20 million.
The Colorado Springs center will have 344 personnel with an annual payroll of $3.7 million annually, the biggest among all the armories being built to accommodate the new battalion.