By Correne Martin
For the first time since the National Guard Armory was built at 601 N. Marquette Rd., in Prairie du Chien, in 1956, a major renovation has begun inside the facility. The Department of Military Affairs is funding the $1.5 million project, which started in late 2013. The 229th Engineer Company is anticipating the construction at its readiness center to be complete by this summer.
“Aesthetically, it will look much different,” said Chad Smethurst, 229th horizontal construction engineer. “It will give us the ability to work in a more professional environment.”
A majority of the project’s costs will involve updating the boiler system from steam to water, improving the electrical system and installing air conditioning. The heating and electrical systems at the Armory were 20 to 30 years old, failing and costly to operate, according to the Department of Military Affairs.