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Battery B's South Mountain readiness center nearly ready

April 11, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Final inspections are under way at the new armory in South Mountain, Pa., and furniture is already moved in, a Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs spokesman said recently.

The $5.5 million Pennsylvania National Guard readiness center, formerly called an armory, will house the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team's Battery B, 108th Field Artillery. Those 150 guardsmen currently use readiness centers in Gettysburg, Pa., and Waynesboro, Sgt. Matt Jones said.

The future of the Waynesboro armory remains undecided.

"That's in the process of being sold," Jones said.

The Pa. 316 armory is being appraised, Jones said. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services will act as a broker for its sale, which will be based on fair market value, he said.

"It can take a few months or even longer," Jones said.

Waynesboro Mayor Richard Starliper said borough officials are supporting the Waynesboro Fire Department in its quest to take ownership of the armory, which was built in 1936. The mayor said he envisions converting the armory into a community center, where the fire department could hold fundraising carnivals.

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"It would be a tremendous asset to the community overall and to the fire department," Starliper said.

Renovations could occur in the building, but historic significance could limit changes to the facade, he said.

On March 11, the Stryker Brigade's 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry officially took occupancy of its renovated and expanded readiness center on U.S. 30 in Chambersburg, Pa., Jones said.

That $5.1 million project added 5,000 square feet to the 15,000-square-foot building.

Chambersburg's "Charlie Troop" has 130 members, Jones said.

The Stryker Brigade, which spent eight months of 2009 in Iraq, specializes in operations involving armored vehicles.

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