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New armory awaits soldiers in Norman

BY JAMES S. TYREE Published: September 12, 2009
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NORMAN — The Armed Forces Reserve Center being built in Norman will employ about 150 people and serve up to 800 National Guardsmen and 400 Army reservists at a time when it opens next year.

The $43 million, 240,000-square-foot facility at 28th Avenue NW, near Tecumseh Road and Interstate 35, also is designed to be economically and environmentally sound.

The Cleveland County Business & Industry Council toured the facility Wednesday. Andrew Carlson, the recently retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel overseeing the project and a similar one in Mustang, told the group the facility is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification status.

Construction on the Norman center is expected to be completed by mid-January and open in June, once all furnishings, equipment and systems are in place, Carlson said.

Norman and Mustang will have two of seven Armed Forces Reserve Centers that will consolidate 59 of the state’s approximately 89 armories, he said.

Two others will be built in Muskogee and Broken Arrow; the other three are at Vance Air Force Base, Fort Sill and in McAlester.

"With so many people moving to cities, this is in response to demographic changes that have happened in Oklahoma since the 1930s,” Carlson told the business group. "This gives us a new chance to build more infrastructure for where our troops are living, so they don’t have to travel so far for duty.