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Gov. Whitmer Announces Modernization of Michigan Army National Guard Grand Ledge Armory and Grayling Army Airfield Armory is Underway
September 08, 2022
LANSING, Mich. – Less than a month after Gov. Whitmer signed into law the State of Michigan’s fiscal year 2023 budget, which authorizes $100 million in funds ($50 million state/$50 million federal) to modernize current facilities used by the Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG) to address inequities that exist in the facilities provided to Michigan’s women service members, modernization of the Grand Ledge Armory is nearing completion and construction at Grayling Army Airfield Armory is underway.
“Michigan women are stepping up to join the MIARNG and serve our nation and we must make sure that our facilities meet their needs,” said Gov. Whitmer. “By modernizing our facilities, we are showing new moms in uniform that we are serious about providing them comfortable, safe and private spaces for them to use. Every member of the MIARNG deserves access to the support and resources they need to carry out their mission and I will work with anyone to make investments that support our troops and new moms.”
Of the 33 facilities targeted for modernization with this investment, two are under construction: Grand Ledge Armory, which is nearing completion, and Grayling Army Airfield Armory. Construction will commence shortly at seven additional facilities this calendar year: Albion Armory, Gladstone Armory, Ishpeming Armory, Kalamazoo Armory, Port Huron Armory, Traverse City Armory and Washtenaw Armory.
At the time many of these buildings were constructed, the structure and composition of the MIARNG force was primarily male and facilities, like restrooms and showers, were designed with that in mind. Today, nearly 1,500 women serve in the MIARNG. However, very few of the facilities used for drill and other activities have been updated to reflect women’s needs. The modernization project will provide for necessary improvements including new toilet and shower facilities.
“During drill weekend and other readiness exercises, nearly 30 female soldiers shared two bathroom stalls and three showers, which made it difficult to get our work done in a timely manner,” said Sgt. Samantha McPhee of the HHC 3-238th GSAB Supply NCO, Grand Ledge. “These new shower and restroom facilities are a much-needed upgrade including the new lockers to keep our personal items safe and secure.”
The investment by Gov. Whitmer will also lead to new lactation rooms that include dedicated refrigeration for storing breast milk.
“It is an extremely challenging time to be a mom, especially a working mom, but I’m proud that the MIARNG is supportive of soldiers who are starting a family,” said SSgt. Chandra Taylor, B Co 1-112th AVN Supply NCO, Grand Ledge. “The lactation room is a comfortable, safe space to express milk, providing me with a greater work/life balance which leads to me being a more productive member of my unit.”
The project will also infuse critical dollars into communities across the state and provide local construction jobs. The modernization project includes support of veterans and veteran-owned business through contracts and employment. Over the course of construction of the Grand Ledge Armory, approximately 85 people were employed on the modernization project including ten veterans. 44th Street Construction LLC, a veteran-owned business, was selected as the general contractor for the project.
“We are thankful for Gov. Whitmer’s leadership and the work by the state legislature to invest in the modernization of our facilities,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This funding will help us adapt our facilities to better serve women soldiers and support future growth of their enlistment in the MIARNG while also investing into local communities across Michigan.”
For images of the completed Grand Ledge Armory modernization project, please visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA62uN.
For B-roll footage of the completed Grand Ledge Armory modernization project, please visit: https://bit.ly/3D2Py5c and https://bit.ly/3RmwzXs.
For more details on the FY 2022-23 budget, please visit: https://www.michigan.gov/budget/budget-documents/final-signed-budget-bills.