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Franklin National Guard facility to get $850,000 renovation

The state is seeking bids for an $850,000 refurbishment project of an old Cold War-era armory that’s home to a National Guard facility in Franklin.

The Guard’s Franklin Readiness Center is located at 300 S. Main St. and is in need of many internal renovations and repairs including rewiring, fresh paint and a new roof. A detachment of engineers is assigned there for one weekend a month of duty, and the center is also the home of the Honor Guard and some full-time employees, Col. David Mikolaities said. The bidding process is open until Jan. 8.

The $850,000 for the project is half state and half federal money, Mikolaities said. It is routine for the Guard to receive money for renovation projects and they try to tackle small repairs like leaky roofs on the facilities on a regular basis. The most recent large project was a $2 million addition to an armory in Milford.

The Franklin Readiness Center was built in the early 1960s and has not had a major refurbishment since.

“It’s just on our long-term master plan for capital improvements,” Mikolaities said.

Once the bids are submitted, it will take two to three months to go through the full selection process, culminating with approval from the governor and executive council, said James Haggett of the Bureau of Public Works. A significant portion of the work, including all window, exterior door and lighting replacements, as well as mechanical upgrades, must be finished by June 1. The rest of the project, which includes replacing ceiling tiles, polishing the floor and painting the interior walls, will be finished by Sept. 26, according to the invitation to bid.

Besides the engineer detachment of the Guard working on vertical construction, the facility also houses the Honor Guard, which is in charge of burial details at the state Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

Bids have already been submitted by nine companies based in Nashua, Alton, Gilford, Keene, Milford, Francestown, Sanford and Raymond. Details about the project and bidding process are available on the Department of Transportation’s website.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3390 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

So, it's OK for the military to receive all this money while at the same time our schools go begging for financial support. What is wrong here -- where are our priorities, our values concerning addressing the needs of the least among us?

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