National Guard armory in Franklin to undergo $850,000 renovationBy DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent
January 08. 2014 3:18PM
FRANKLIN — Contractor bids will be opened today for the New Hampshire National Guard's $850,000 renovation of the city's armory building.
The 11,000-square-foot armory badly needs repairs, renovations, and upgrades, said the Guard's Col. David Mikolaities.
It was built in 1965, during the Cold-War era, and much of the space was used for different needs then, he said.
Now, the armory houses the Readiness Center for the Guard's 60th Engineer Detachment, a group that requires more space and better facilities for its once-a-month training sessions.
The armory is also home to the Guard's military honors program, which honors veterans' burials and graves at the New Hampshire Veteran's Cemetery in Boscawen.
"A common theme among our armories in the state is that they are very old, and they are typically undersized for what we do today," Mikolaities said. "In Franklin, the building is more than 50 years old, and the engineers need to do vertical construction projects that require more space."
The building needs a "major interior refurbishment" to add space and modernize the facilities, he said, and repairs are needed to bring the building up to city and state building codes.
The roof needs repair or replacement, he said, as does the building's façade. The kitchen needs repairs and upgrades, as do the restrooms. Some of the wiring also needs to be replaces, he said.
Bids have come in for the project by more than a half-dozen contractors, he said. State and Guard officials were scheduled to open the bids Wednesday and begin the process of selecting a contractor.
The project should be completed by the fall of this year, he said.
Half of the funding for the project comes from state money and half from federal funds, he said.
The Guard is in the process of modernizing and renovating its armories all over the state, Mikolaities said, and hopes to improve another armory in the state soon.
An armory in Littleton is getting a similar renovation and upgrade.
"The project in Franklin is an indication of our long-term commitment to our facilities in the state," he said.