Maine National Guard Picks Site For New Augusta Home
The Maine National Guard has found a site for their new home.It’s a project that Maine National Guard officials have spent the past 15 years trying to find funding for. Now that wait appears to be over.A new $30 million, 100,000 square foot headquarters for the Maine Army and Air National Guard is slated to be be built in a wooded area next to the Maine Veterans Cemetery just off Civic Center Drive in Augusta.”It’s really a large office building is essentially what it ends up being,” said Lt. Col. Dwaine Drummond, director of facilities and engineering for the Maine National Guard.Drummond says the new facility will replace a number of old buildings at Camp Keyes in Augusta, some that date back more than 100 years. Patchwork renovations over the past 15 years have kept the buildings in use, but the folks who work on this base everyday are ready for a new home. Even after the move Camp Keyes will still be used by the guard.”Camp Keyes will primarily remain our maintenance and industrial hub,” Drummond said. “We’ll leave our warehouse and our large maintenance, vehicle maintenance facilities and our facility maintenance will be there.”Some people have expressed concern about the new facility’s close proximity to the Maine Veterans Cemetery. Drummond says he appreciates the concern that he says shows there’s still folks who care about protecting the sanctity of the veterans cemetery. But he says the two parcels of land will be clearly separated by trees and he doesn’t see it as a problem.”We’re in the military and the idea of having soldiers working close to the veterans cemetery in my mind isn’t all bad. who would have more respect and interest in that than folks wearing the uniform?”They hope to break ground here in the spring of 2015 and move into the new facility by the end of 2016.