Work resumes on National Guard center

Gary Budzak

December 26, 2013

Work resumed Thursday on the Ohio Army National Guard Training and Community Center, an $11.3 million facility located next to the Delaware YMCA on Houk Road.

The Guard building sits on 20 acres and will be linked to the YMCA by enclosed corridors. The Guard Building’s gym, dining area, classrooms and meeting rooms will be available for public use.

Guard officials said the center is part of a statewide effort to integrate with local communities.

On Nov. 25, Delaware City Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into an intergovernmental cooperation agreement amendment with the State of Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. The city accepted four of six alternates to the construction bid for the Training Center.

According to the fact sheet for council, “The City will issue payment to the ONG in the amount of $117,500 on or before January 31, 2014. In turn, the YMCA has agreed to reimburse the City $72,000 on or before March 1, 2014.”

The money, from the Recreation Levy, would be spent on a modular athletic floor ($63,000), gymnasium equipment ($40,500), flag poles ($6,000) and technology cabling ($8,000).

The National Guard approved spending $31,000 to complete a bike path in front of its building, which Council had previously approved. In November, council approved reallocating the funds to a proposed Veterans Plaza between the Guard building and the Y.

The Veterans Plaza, which might open in August 2014, would cost $535,073 and honor the contributions of Delaware soldiers in all of America’s wars with plaques and feature the cannon from the Point, a World War I Monument, the war plaques on a V-shaped walled backdrop, engraved commemorative bricks, poles for three flags (U.S., Ohio, National Guard), and 200 permanent seats for outdoor ceremonies and events.

Ground broke on the 64,000 square-foot TACC on Aug. 23, marking the return of the National Guard to Delaware after a five-year absence.

From 1915 to 2008, the National Guard had an armory on William Street. The outdated building was closed because it didn’t meet the needs of today’s soldiers. However, as soon as it was learned the armory was going to close, city officials made efforts to keep the Guard’s presence in Delaware.

At the groundbreaking, Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst said the Guard’s history with Delaware County began with the War of 1812, and an infantry was formed in 1879. In addition, local Guard members have participated in conflicts from the Civil War to the War on Terrorism, she said.

According to the Ohio Army National Guard, TACC will be the home of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment, currently located in Columbus; and Battery A, 1-134th Field Artillery, currently located in Marion. Combined, the units consist of 312 soldiers.