By Craig Day, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OK -- State, local and military leaders turned dirt Wednesday on a huge construction project in Broken Arrow. The Armed Forces Reserve Center will be the largest in the state. The facility will be located on East 101st Street, near the Muskogee Turnpike, and many say the project is all about supporting our men and women in uniform.
With the ceremonial turning of the dirt, work on a new Armed Forces Reserve Center in Broken Arrow is officially underway. Oklahoma Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Myles Deering and Oklahoma's Lt. Governor Jari Askins were on hand for the ceremony.
"This AFRC is a tangible promise to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that we are going to provide them with the tools for their success," said Major General Myles Deering, Adjutant General of Oklahoma.
The $67 million, 243,000 sq. ft. center will house the Oklahoma Army National Guard and units from the Army, Navy and Marine Reserves.
"It shows the dedication and commitment of our government to our reservists and national guardsmen here," said Colonel Jon Lee, U.S. Army Reserve.
"These facilities aren't your daddy's National Guard armory, you know," General Deering said.
As part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's restructuring effort, there will be seven of these centers across Oklahoma, at a cost of $250 million.
"Is there any other state that is doing what we're doing, and the answer is categorically no," said Major General Myles Deering, Adjutant General of Oklahoma.
Those centers are being built in Broken Arrow, Muskogee, Norman, West Oklahoma City, Vance Air Force base in Enid, at Ft. Sill and the Army Ammunition Depot in McAlester.
As for the center in Broken Arrow, it will be finished in May of 2011 with units moving in by September of that year. The Muskogee center should be finished in late 2010.
Ninety percent of the work on the Broken Arrow center will be done by Oklahomans, so the project is expected to have a big impact on Oklahoma's economy.