The Utah National Guard broke ground on its new $26 million Nephi Readiness Center located in Nephi, Utah, on March 10.
(Utah National Guard photo)
Members of the Utah National Guard leadership joined community partners on March 10 to break ground on the new $26 million Nephi Readiness Center.
The new facility — located on West Airport Lane, south of Meadow Lane and west of the Nephi Municipal Airport — will be the home of the Utah National Guard's 1457th Engineer Battalion and 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
With a footprint of 58,000 sq. ft., it is anticipated that approximately 2,000 personnel, supported by an estimated 100 vehicles, trailers and specialty equipment, will use this facility for both classroom and tactical training. It will act as a "home base" for soldiers who are assigned to Nephi.
"This is an exciting day," SGM Jed Lundell, operations sergeant, said in an interview at the ceremony. "This the first groundbreaking that we've had as far as the Brigade goes. We've always inherited old armories. This is going to be the first built-for-us armory from the ground up. So, it's a pretty exciting day. We were able to influence how the building was made. Everything from office to our conference room. We have a footprint. It's built for our use and how we operate."
Contracting crews are expected to complete the project in fall 2023.
In 2009, the Armory Board acquired the 30 acres in a land trade with Nephi. The military construction planning process and submission started in 2012. In 2019, the Utah Legislature funded 3 mi. of utility lines for the site through the state's Division of Facilities Construction and Management.
Architectural Nexus designed the readiness center. Hogan and Associates Construction completed the infrastructure project and was awarded the contract, with completion scheduled one year from now.
"This is essentially a significant upgrade, where we have a building that facilitates the units that are going to be assigned there, but it also has the ability to support, potentially, domestic operations response," Command Sgt. Major Richard Thalman, who is the project manager of the center, told KSL.com.
Thalman said that this center is an upgrade over the "old main street armories" that were built in the 1950s.
"They were built for smaller formations, smaller equipment, not as much field gear, not as much personal gear or weapon systems, and especially very much smaller vehicles [and] military equipment," he said. "We've outgrown those over, you know, 70, 80 years — they're very outdated. They don't meet our physical security needs. They don't meet our technological needs."
Colonel Woodrow Miner, brigade commander, discussed the importance of a readiness center.
"This provides a great location for us here in Nephi," he said. "The important thing with the new building is we tend to get a lot more environmentally-friendly buildings and we come up to code. Many buildings have been around for decades…so these new facilities account for all the new upgrades to provide our vets to learn and train."
The new center will provide more space and better technology for the guard, which is growing in both equipment supply and personnel.
Because of the location of the site, basic utilities and services are limited. This has created the opportunity to explore creative alternatives for energy generation and the need for key utility connections. The Nephi Readiness Center is envisioned to be a true "stand-alone" facility for the community, able to operate in severe crisis mode.
"Our soldiers are all made up of these communities all around the state that serve our state and nation," Thalman said. "There are times where we could easily be a mutual support for special events in the community. Sometimes we'll host events with them in our readiness centers," he said.
"It helps keep us in front and with our community partners, not just with the local officials but also with the public," Thalman added. "In turn, that keeps that pride in our country and the great support that we get from our folks here in Utah."
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