Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 24, 2018

Armory hosts rededication ceremony after remodel

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Mar 12, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photos U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, left, helps Maj. Gen. Tim Orr of the Iowa National Guard cut the ribbon Saturday during the rededication ceremony at the Fairfield Readiness Center. The ceremony was to recognize the extensive remodeling done to the building since the 1034th Composite Supply Company replaced the 224th Engineer Battalion in Fairfield.

The Iowa National Guard hosted a rededication ceremony Saturday to commemorate the completion of remodeling the Fairfield Readiness Center.

Local dignitaries such as Iowa Rep. Phil Miller and Fairfield City Administrator Aaron Kooiker had a front row seat. U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and Maj. Gen. Tim Orr of the Iowa National Guard cut the red ribbon, marking the completion of the project which began nearly two years ago.

The interior layout was changed to accommodate the building’s new needs. Seventeen people once worked fulltime at the armory under the 224th Engineer Battalion, but that number fell to five when the 224th left in 2016 and was replaced by the 1034th Composite Supply Company.

The 1034th does not require as many staffers, though it does require much more equipment. In fact, the Iowa National Guard has purchased 1.8 acres of land to the north to expand its parking lot.

Sgt. 1st Class Nick Taylor, readiness non-commissioned officer, said the 1034th has the most equipment of any company in the state.

It was because of those changing needs that the Iowa National Guard sought to reconfigure the building, eliminating many interior walls to make room for a large classroom and fitness room. A recording control room was added between the band rooms, and their ceilings were raised. The heating, ventilation, and cooling systems were replaced with a modern, variable refrigerant flow system to combat a mold problem that has since been solved.

Photos of the 34th Army Band dating back to its beginning were displayed in one of the band rooms for the public to peruse. Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Crile said he’s trying to identify soldiers in the photo to create a caption for each one. Once that’s done, they’ll go back on the hallway walls.

“We have such a great alumni group that comes back for events, and we want to keep that history alive here,” he said. “They love seeing the old pictures. We’ve got a lot of them in our supply room, and we’ve got to display them or at least send them to the museum in Des Moines so they don’t go away.”

Crile said that five small office rooms along an east-west corridor were turned into two rooms – a large classroom and the other a lactation room. The office rooms across the hall that were once used by the engineering battalion became a fitness room with free weights, treadmills and elliptical machines.

 

 

 

 

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