The Vermont National Guard has broken ground on a new maintenance facility in North Hyde Park. The Guard says the new building will be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) facility.
The new maintenance facility replaces the Morrisville Armory and consolidates field maintenance shops currently operating in Lyndonville and St. Albans. When the state purchased the land in 2010, the federal government committed to paying for the building, as long as it will be occupied by the Vermont National Guard for at least 25 years.
A press release about Thursday's groundbreaking states the new building will be heated and powered by renewable energy resources:
This facility will utilize a geothermal ground source system to provide heating and cooling as well as photovoltaic panels to reduce our demand of fossil fuel and electric utility costs. The facility will also have a state of the art energy management system and will incorporate high efficiency motors, lighting and other systems.
At the groundbreaking ceremony Major General Steve Cray, the Adjutant General of the State of Vermont, commented, "The facilities that this replaces are outdated. Some of the equipment doesn't even fit in some of the buildings. So we're providing a facility for our maintainers to be fiscally responsible and maintain. You know, as Vermonters are, we're resourceful and we know that equipment is very expensive and very hard to maintain. And so this facility represents our ability to just do that."
Major General Cray and Gov. Peter Shumlin both noted the federal, state and local cooperation that has gotten the project to this point.
Gov. Shumlin said, "This would not happen were it not for the collaboration and the leadership between our federal delegation, our state delegation, General Cray and our extraordinary team in the National Guard, as well as this community standing up and saying, 'We're going to have the conversation. We're going to make this happen. We're going to ensure that this happens right here in Hyde Park.'"
The building site is located on a high meadow with abutting woodland and mountain views. Gov. Shumlin commented, "This has got to be the most beautiful location for a National Guard facility anywhere in America. It doesn't get any better than this."
The first phase of the vehicle maintenance shop is expected to cost $4.4 million and be completed by December. A second phase will begin construction in 2016 and be completed by March 2017. The second phase is expected to cost $7.9 million in federal funds. Once complete, the facility will be nearly 45,000 square feet, including maintenance bays, special purpose bays, administrative space and logistical space.