Readiness center ahead of schedule

With the outside work complete except for a bit of metal trim on the roof, workers have moved inside and to the back buildings, and passers-by can see the view the new Readiness Center will present. The entrance has a large pylon on each side to help with security and suspended between an element representing a bridge. The bridge represents the type of work this local National Guard unit will be doing on future deployments.


Matt Brossman of the Jackson Contractor Group, Inc., said the biggest struggle his company faced with the new National Guard Readiness Center for Montana Department of Military Affairs in Miles City was the existing conditions. 

“Tough, fat, expansive clays,” Bossman said, meaning they had to bring in thousands of yards of material before they even started constructing.

In spite of the gumbo soil, the Readiness Center on North Haynes Avenue is three months ahead of schedule, according to Bossman. They are so far ahead, the Department of Military Affairs added another building “just last week.” The unheated metal building will be for vehicle storage.

The Readiness Center is an $11.6 million project to replace the 50-year-old armory building on east Main Street. The new structure will have 30,520 square feet including vehicle storage, areas for maintenance training, controlled waste storage, site improvements, access roads, a parking lot, fenced storage and a loading dock and ramp.

The Readiness Center is being built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) sustainable building strategies.

The main building will be ready for occupancy at the end of October, although the local National Guard unit will probably not move into the building until the end of this year or the first of next year. The overall completion date is January 20, 2015.

There have been some complications, including rain and an irrigation ditch flooding the site, but despite those issues, Bossman said, there have been no major problems.

The project will include some landscaping. Due to the clay issues on the site, there will be “four or five retention ponds,” according to Bossman, which will be lined with river cobble to encourage drainage. There will also be some trees and shrubs planted.

People interested in following the construction can go to the web site of Jackson Contractor Group and follow a link to a live web cam showing work on the Readiness Center.