CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Four Army Reserve units will have a new center in September 2013 in Cape Coral, Fla. The official ground breaking ceremony was held on July 28 at the new site of a 46,610 square foot facility on 15 acres of land.
The new facility will include 37,438 sq. ft. training center, a 7,652 sq. ft. organizational maintenance shop and a 1,520 sq. ft. storage building.
The event was hosted by Col. Patrick Briley, the Director of Public Works for the 81st Regional Support Command. "We realized that we didn't have an Army Reserve presence in this part of Florida," he said. "We found this piece of land and knew about the new VA Clinic and saw it as a great opportunity." Getting an Army Reserve center in the area was 10 years in the making.
"This is a great opportunity for everyone," said Cape Coral Council Member Marty McClain. "The Army is excited about being here. We are excited about having them here."
The new center will be located right across the street from a brand new VA hospital and the area is known as the Veteran's Investment Zone. "We are hoping this becomes a hub of service right here in Cape Coral," said State Representative Gary Aubuchon.
"It's money being spent on our economy, on goods and services," said Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan. "It'll help create jobs and that's what we need is jobs."
The center is also part of the Army's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Project meaning that it requires construction companies to use materials and processes during construction to achieve LEED certification. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification verifies that a building was designed to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.
The new facility will be home to Detachment 2, 810th Military Police Company, 2/485 Regiment (a training unit), the 451st Quartermaster Company and the 365th Engineer Company.
It is called the Cape Coral Army Reserve Center for now, but Briley hopes it will have a more meaningful name once the center opens. "Cape Coral and Fort Myers, I know that they've lost some sons and daughters," he said. "And we think it's the right thing to do, to memorialize this center for a fallen Soldier from Cape Coral."
The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of an artist's rendering of the new center and the tossing of the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt as together the officials in attendance broke ground on the new center that is expected to be completed by September of 2013.