BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Army National Guard has received $15.5 million in federal funding for the second and final phase of its Regional Training Institute adjacent to the Bangor Armed Forces Reserve Center.
Construction of the first phase, which received approximately $14 million in funding in 2008, began last year and includes a 46,000-square-foot building which will house administrative offices, instructional classrooms, a small auditorium and a track. The second phase includes dormitory-style housing for up to 100 soldiers, as well as a cafeteria.
Lt. Col. Dwaine Drummond said Tuesday the Guard was fortunate to get its additional funding in such a timely fashion.
“I think it helped that we were so far along in the design process,” he said. “We didn’t expect to be able to start phase two this soon.”
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced the appropriation in a prepared statement this week. The money is part of a spending bill signed by President Barack Obama last month.
The Guard chose Bangor in 2005 as the site of its new Regional Training Institute, and Drummond said the facility is envisioned as a self-contained campus similar to a small college. Most of the Guard’s training in Maine now takes place at its headquarters — Camp Keyes in Augusta.
Members of the 240th Training Regiment will staff the facility, which will be one of several in New England that work collaboratively, each focusing on specialized training disciplines. The institute will focus on instruction in engineering, using digital classrooms and simulation training that teaches soldiers how to react in high-risk scenarios.
“It’s going to be quite a place. This has been a long time coming,” Drummond said.
Burns & McDonnell, a Missouri design firm, has developed architectural plans for both phases of the Regional Training Institute. Contractor Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer was awarded the contract for the first phase last May and has begun construction of the main facility.
The second phase is likely to go out to bid later this year, Drummond said.
When completed sometime in 2012, the institute will employ four full-time and 23 traditional Guard soldiers. On any given weekend, the facility is likely to have up to 100 soldiers training.
The Bangor Armed Forces Reserve Center, located off outer Hammond Street on the back side of Bangor International Airport, was built in the mid-1990s. It houses elements of the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Navy Reserve and the Coast Guard.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT
Workers with Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer apply vapor barrier Tuesday to the exterior of the new Regional Training Institute in Bangor. Sen. Susan Collins said the Maine Army National Guard has received $15.5 million in federal funds for final construction phase of the building, which is adjacent to the Bangor Armed Forces Reserve Center.
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF MAINE AIR NATIONAL GUARD
A drawing of Phase I and Phase II of the Maine Army National Guard’s Regional Training Institute at the Bangor Armed Forces Reserve Center.