A major renovation just wrapped up at The Oklahoma National Guard Armory in Okmulgee. Members of the Guard say the improvements were badly needed.
The Oklahoma National Guard said the newly-renovated Readiness Center helps them serve people near and far.
"If there are fires, or ice storms, or tornados and we call the Guard in, they will gather here before they go out and help the community," said Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant General Michael Thompson.
Thompson said when he saw the building a year ago before the renovation started, it was in bad shape.
"It was literally falling in on itself. Bad plumbing, bad ceilings, everything was really kind of falling apart," Thompson said.
The armory has been there for nearly 50 years, but after $6 million in renovations, National Guard members said it's like a brand new building.
"They literally tore walls down and built new walls. So, the area we're standing in now wasn't here before," said Administrative NCO Michael Goodin.
Goodin said the new lockers are one of his favorite parts, a space that used to be in a hot garage.
"If we were getting ready to do a training event, just to get their rucks and stuff they'd be out there in 110 degrees just sweating just to gather their gear together," Goodin said.
He said in addition to much-needed upgrades to things like electric and plumbing, the building also has new classrooms, a space to work out, and even a designated room for nursing mothers in the Guard.
"We have 117 people assigned to our unit and roughly 75 to 85 reporting for drill every month, so that's 75 to 80 people on a regular basis who are impacted by the money that was committed to this project," Goodin said.
The Guard said with all these improvements, the building is good to go for another 20 years, so the Oklahoma National Guard in Okmulgee will be better equipped to do their job of helping others.