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Stimulus money jump-starts work on Guard headquarters

Posted May 26, 2009

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— State officials on Tuesday broke ground on a $56 million headquarters for the North Carolina National Guard.

In addition to serving as the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, the 237,000-square-foot building will house the state Division of Emergency Management and communications offices for the State Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation.

National Guard headquarters groundbreaking Construction of National Guard HQ to create 4K jobs

The state received about $41.5 million in federal economic stimulus money for the project. Officials set aside the remaining $14.5 million from the state general fund and Highway Trust Fund.

"It's going to allow our guard to continue to be prepared for global missions, and it really will help North Carolina when a disaster strikes home," Gov. Beverly Perdue said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

More than a third of the 12,000 National Guard members based in North Carolina are deployed overseas.

Perdue noted that the N.C. National Guard suffered its 11th casualty in Iraq last week when a suicide bomber killed three members of the Fayetteville-based 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, including 1st Lt. Leevi Barnard of Mount Airy.

"They really do need a new headquarters because they are constantly on alert and they constantly serve around the globe," she said.

National Guard Maj. Gen. William Ingram said the new headquarters also is needed for practicality, noting the state's units are now based in a 40-year-old facility. Some offices are housed in temporary trailers.

"This is the nerve center of the National Guard of North Carolina," Ingram said of the new headquarters.

The building will be on an 18-acre site west of Blue Ridge Road and north of Wade Avenue. It is scheduled to be finished within two years.

Work on the project is expected to create up to 4,200 jobs. Officials said some jobs might last a couple of months, while others could last more than a year.

"It will employ everybody from constructions workers to plumbers, electricians (and) tile people," Ingram said. "That's part of the economic stimulus package."

Perdue credited Fourth District Congressman David Price with securing funding for the Army National Guard account in the federal recovery legislation.

Once the new headquarters opens, the National Guard will continue to use its current facility. Officials said the transition of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve requires more facilities to meet the increased demands.

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  • Mattie May 27, 2009

    First of all drive over to the military center take a look and see how over crowded the facility is now. The Joint Forces Headquarters actually has been an eight year project one step at a time. The idea, the land, design money, the design and it stops. You fight, you beg, you plead, you die then it's a number one project over all and it happens to get funded by the stimulus package because the project can put people to work now and the building has to be completed in 2 years, using on US made material, built by legal workers. The project will put people to work now in this area for two year and after, I know people who could use the work now. I know what I'm talking about and I know you don't.

  • bvw30 May 27, 2009

    I think that any company that receives stimulus money should have to ensure that only they only have "legal" workers on the jobsite...contractors and subcontractors...otherwise the majority of the stimulus money will end up getting "wired" to Mexico and points south..

  • killerkestrel May 27, 2009

    Yeah, instead of saying how many jobs created, they should just say how many man-years of work it creates for folks directly related to the job.

  • ramesesch May 26, 2009

    2009 Voodoo Math: For lunch, I had a ham and cheese sandwich. ONE person made that ham and cheese sandwich, one took my order, and one served the sandwich...for a total of three people "stimulated" by my lunch order stimulus package. If, though, we take it a step further...... the bread factory employed 325, the wheat farmer employed 15, the bread bag factory employed 115, the knife factory 275, the slaughterhouse 1100, the meat packer 440, the dairy farmer 27, the cheese factory 121, the food transit company 3,200 PLUS the three employees at the restaurant. MY stimulus sandwich "employed" 5,621 and only cost me $5.95 (+ tax of course)! I know...this is crazy...but it makes as much sense as this construction project "employing" 4,200 people! Ooops! I forgot the plate makers, lettuce farmers, and the mayonnaise union!

  • Barrackawack May 26, 2009

    Well it looks like some of the state's ILLEGAL immigrants will have a job, that is about all they will hire in construction now to keep cost down.STIMULUS ,LOL ! WRAL ,Please investigate this when construction starts !!

  • bissette May 26, 2009

    And yet we are laying off our teachers.........the people that educate our childern...our future......It's just hard to comprehend........?????????????????????????????????????????

  • ifcdirector May 26, 2009

    Just more encroachment from the federal government using our money to take control of what should normally be a strictly state force and resource.

  • goobnav May 26, 2009

    This site won't be completed for 5 yrs, be over budget and under funded, because they'll steal the rest, and never employ more than 42 people. Face it, WRAL is only showing what their corporate masters are telling them in order to get a rosier picture of the future economy. Here's my challenge to them, why don't you tell the people how many workers are trying to keep their jobs at WRAL by printing false or exaggerated media. The news media has lost whatever status they held in the past by printing information about celebrities and there friends than reporting the true news. It'll change soon, when people give up watching the news for something more entertaining. Ordo Ab Charo.

  • Southern Fried Yankee May 26, 2009

    I remember working at a major power plant site for over 3 years and IT didn't employ 4200 people...There were welders, concrete men, carpenters, electricians, laborers, QC people, Engineers, etc.

    How in the world would a building construction employ more?

  • bc58 May 26, 2009

    Something doesn't seem right with this story The State of NC had drawn up plans to build an new National Guard HQ building but had no money to build it? Was there any money ever attached to this building project and if so where is it at? How lucky are we that Obama was here to give us the money.

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