After much planning and preparation, construction on a National Guard armory will soon be underway.
A new National Guard Readiness Center will be built near the intersection of Veterans Boulevard and Cooper Drive in Ardmore, near the site of the defunct Ardmore Readiness Center. The center served as a National Guard armory until it was closed in the late 80s.
“We’re looking to begin in January or February,” Oklahoma National Guard Colonel Mark Clifton said. “You’ll start to see activity within the next three weeks.”
The new $22 million armory will sit near the site of the original, west of the Flying J convenience store on Cooper Drive. Clifton said the site’s location near Interstate 35 is an asset.
“From an operational perspective, it’s a key site in southern Oklahoma to support the state, first responders and to help the National Guard respond to bad weather,” Clifton said.
Clifton said Ardmore’s ties to the Oklahoma National Guard have always been strong. The building that now serves as Greater Southwest Historical Museum is a former National Guard armory that was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936.
“Even back to the 30s, we’ve been in Ardmore,” Clifton said. “We like supporting the local community, it’s key to our recruitment endeavors, not only in Ardmore but in the surrounding communities.”
The roughly 46-acre site will house an 80,000-square foot center and a field maintenance shop. The project will also include the
demolition of the old Ardmore Readiness Center.
Clifton said the project is now tentatively slated to be complete by mid-2019.
“We’re getting ready to build a bigger, better site right off on the highway,” Clifton said. “This has been a community effort to bring this to Ardmore. We applaud the city and the Ardmore Development Authority for being so supportive of this.”