The Oklahoma National Guard celebrated the grand opening of one of its new facilities on Friday. National Guard soldiers say they're eager to use these new buildings with the improvements they have to offer.
"This is a huge step up from us with the high-rise H style buildings," Sgt. Rayne Cox said.
This is the moment Sgt. Rayne Cox and his fellow soldiers have been waiting for, as the ribbon is cut on the new Operational Readiness Training Complex at Camp Gruber. Cox has been coming here since 2014 and stationed here since 2017.
"We've been waiting for these to be built for seven years now so it's been a long time coming," Cox said.
Their new barracks are part of Muskogee County's $27 million complex for the National Guard to train and house more than seven hundred soldiers and airmen.
"It provides living, dining, classroom space, and admin space," Oklahoma National Guard Construction and Facility Management Officer Cory Newcomb said.
Newcomb says the big selling point for those who will use the new buildings are the improved heating and A/C.
"So when they come here they can train year round and get some relief from some of the elements," Newcomb said.
It's a luxury that the old barracks, which are being remodeled, didn't have.
"It was a lot of phone calls at night saying it was too hot, or the showers didn't work. If it wasn't one thing it was the other," Cox said. "The A/C works in these and everything is brand new."
Another coming addition to the grounds is a fire station. The three million dollar project is expected to be finished in 18 months and will provide fire and emergency services for the camp, and the nearby town of Braggs.
"It's going to be a great opportunity to provide some of the emergency services that we desperately need here," Newcomb said.
I'm told some of the National Guard units are already testing the new barracks.