AUGUSTA — The Maine National Guard has received $32 million in federal funding for a new headquarters in north Augusta that it may start building this summer.

The 100,000-square-foot, two-story building, to be built on 43 undeveloped acres of land between Civic Center Drive and the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, will be the headquarters for the Army and Air Guard in Maine.

It will house the Guard’s administrative offices that are now at Camp Keyes near the Augusta State Airport, and roughly 200 employees are expected to work there. Camp Keyes will remain as a maintenance and training facility, museum and print plant, but some office buildings there will be demolished with the move to north Augusta.

“I think this is a wonderful addition to that whole area and north Augusta,” said City Councilor Patrick Paradis, who represents Ward 3, where the building will be located.

Funding for the project was included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December. It also included billions in funding for Navy destroyer programs, including a Arleigh Burke-class ship to will be built at Bath Iron Works, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Capt. Norman Stickney, a spokesman for the Maine National Guard, said the state received the funding late last month. Officials will advertise for construction bids on the new building in the coming weeks and they intend to award the winning bid in mid-June, he said. Groundbreaking is slated for late this summer.


The project was approved by the Augusta Planning Board in June, and construction of the building and a 230-space parking lot is expected to take two years. The project would move the entrance to the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery slightly south, directly across from Darin Drive. The intersection would get a traffic light and state officials have pegged that work at a cost of $400,000.

The new Army and Air Guard headquarters is expected to put an additional 208 vehicles on Civic Center Drive during the peak morning weekday commuting hour when it is fully built out, and 200 during the evening peak weekday commute.

While Guard members would report to the building on some weekend drills, actual active military training is not expected to take place there. That type of training would take place at Camp Keyes, at a training area in Gardiner, or elsewhere, Guard officials have said.

During the city’s approval process, concerns were raised by neighbors and veterans about noise from a proposed helicopter pad and encroachment on the cemetery. However, Guard officials said the helicopter pad would be used sparingly to fly the adjutant general if necessary, and that a woodland buffer will render the building invisible from the cemetery.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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