A groundbreaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) – formerly known as the Armed Forces Readiness Center – will be Wednesday, September 7 at 10 a.m. at Camp Minden.
AFRC will provide a consolidated training facility including a main building and associated facilities for use by all Louisiana National Guard units currently headquartered on Camp Minden, according to Col. Carl Thompson, Communications Director for Camp Minden.
There are currently five National Guard units housed at Camp Minden but only four will be housed in the reserve center, Thompson said.
"Each unit has a full time component that works five days week," Thompson said. "Once a month each unit has a training activity where all the part time personnel come in for training. This facility will serve both as permanent office space and drill hall for those units."
More than just office space, the AFRC will be an "emergency shelter in case of tornadoes, armed vaults, supply space, classrooms and mess hall or dining facility," Thompson said.
When the weather doesn't cooperate, the drill hall will also be used for formation.
Bids for the facility opened in June and clearing of the site and construction started in August.
According to Thompson, the estimated cost of the AFRC was $25.7 million. The lowest bid was $19,810,783.
Projection to complete the project is August 2012.