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With a change of mission and outgrowing the existing facilities for drill weekend activities, it was critical to rethink the facility’s functions and compliance.
The Montana National Guard awarded SMA with the opportunity to renovate their Readiness Center and add another 120,000 square feet of new building space including additional training and administrative support spaces, gate houses, vehicle storage, and unheated equipment storage.
The addition also includes a 2,250 square feet Emergency Operations Center with secure support and datacom spaces.
The existing facility was constructed in 1995 as an attack battalion armory with a strength of approximately 240. A transformation in the late 1990’s increased the authorized strength of 428. The support functions of the building such as restrooms and shower facilities were not compliant with current codes and criteria and have become problematically insufficient especially for drill weekends.
As the mission changed to a general support aviation battalion and personnel strength increased, spaces such as the assembly hall and classrooms had become difficult to perform the functions for which they were designed. With actual strengths consistently over 100%, the readiness of the units has been negatively affected by the limited space.
Completed in the fall of 2017, the Helena Aviation Readiness Center is a state-of-the-art secure facility complete with multiple training rooms, showers and lockers, offices, equipment maintenance facilities, vaults, a fitness center, break rooms, conference rooms, and a large-scale assembly hall.
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