Breaking ground for the Nebraska National Guard in North Platte

State of the art vehicle maintenance shop
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The Federal Government is investing in Nebraska. It is an ongoing project, and those involved are anxious for construction to begin, and to be completed. In 2018 Congress and the National Guard Bureau approved a project for a vehicle maintenance shop in North Platte and allocated the funds. Then came the planning and design, and now - the construction.

Design and Project Management Branch Chief of the National Guard Tim Rush was in North Platte Wednesday for the groundbreaking of the new facility

Breaking ground for new vehicle maintenance shop for NE National Guard.
Breaking ground for new vehicle maintenance shop for NE National Guard.

“In the facility that they currently use they cant take a tractor-trailer in at the same time and back it in and close the doors and work on it in the wintertime. In the new one, they will have three working bays where a tractor-trailer can pull through and be completely enclosed."

Design and Project Management Branch Chief of the National Guard Tim Rush

Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts was part of Wednesday’s ceremony. He thanked those involved for making the project possible.

Major General Daryl Bohac of the Nebraska National Guard spoke in North Platte Wednesday, as well.

Major General Bohac shared the history of North Platte’s “Canteen Spirit” with those attending, reminding folks how generous and caring toward the military the people from North Platte generally are. He is grateful for the new facility being built.

And so is North Platte Mayor Brandon Kelliher.

Groundbreaking for NE National Guard facility to be built in North Platte.
Groundbreaking for NE National Guard facility to be built in North Platte.(Melanie Standiford)

North Platte-based Nebraska Army National Guard Company, the 1075th, is a transportation company. They need room to care for big equipment, such as this new facility will provide.

Specialist Bailey Cooper is a production controller with the Nebraska National Guard, and he works in the current facility that was built in 1955 when North Platte soldiers were a tactical unit. Now the 1075th is a transportation unit, and the small working space is being replaced. Spc. Cooper is excited about the change.

And so the shovels hit the ground Wednesday morning. Symbolically it is the first step in the construction phase of the building. The new facility is 23,868 square feet, replacing the old 7,073 square foot building (which is located by the current readiness center across from North Platte’s Cody Park).

Principal and Project Manager with Davis Design of Lincoln Brandon Sire is an architect on the project. He says the new facility is designed to last, saying it is a durable building, and that it will be utilized in North Platte for a long time.

During Wednesday’s program at 10:30 a.m., LTC Ray Phillips (Training Site Manager and on behalf of COL Brent Flachsart, Construction and Facilities Management Officer for the Nebraska Army National Guard), thanked everyone for attending and introduced guests: Governor Ricketts, Mayor Kelliher, and Major General Bohac.

Honored guests were Rachel Lokie representing Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Mike Groene, COL Shane Martin, COL Christopher Weskamp, G4, North Platte City Administrator Matthew Kibbon, Vice Chairman of the North Platte Airport Authority Alan Erickson, North Platte Airport Manager Sam Seafeldt, former North Platte Airport Manager Mike Sharkey, Vice President of Operations for Perry Reid Construction Lance Paulsen, and Brandon Sire, Architect with Davis Design. Chaplain Brian Kane gave the Invocation and Benediction.

The men who participated in turning dirt for the groundbreaking were: Tim Rush, Brandon Sire, COL Shane Martin, Major General Daryl Bohac, Governor Pete Ricketts, Mayor Brandon Kelliher, COL Chris Weskamp, Lance Paulsen, and Ryan Wittstruck.

The new nearly 24,000 square foot vehicle maintenance shop is expected to be complete by the summer of 2022. The total cost for the project is $9.3 million. The shop will support 213 combat and tactical vehicles. The facility is being constructed of a steel framework and pre-cast concrete panels primarily. Spaces included are three general-purpose maintenance bys, an enclosed and heated wash bay, classroom, exercise room, and administrative spaces. Enhancements to the site include new highway access, roads, parking, landscaping, and a fenced vehicle storage area.

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