Just as important, though, business experts say the project offers a boost to the area's economy by generating income which is largely spent locally.
"In general terms, the impact during the time the project is going on is significant," said Bruce Domazlicky, director of Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Economic Research. "It's especially good news now, since construction of new homes has fallen off. Projects like this one can be really beneficial."
Using a multiplier, a $500,000 project would generate an additional $375,000 in income, he said.
The work began last July and is expected to be finished before the end of January at the armory at 224 W. Park St., located near Jackson City Park. The work is being done by Cape Girardeau-based Boulder Construction, which has used local sub-contractors for other aspect to the project, such as plumbing and electrical work.
"We're really going to be pleased with this when it's done," said Sgt. 1st Class Byron Wilkerson, a recruiting and retention specialist who works at the armory. "It really needed upgrading. It's going to have a more modern look, which is good for the Guard Soldiers who work and drill here. But it also leaves a good impression with the public -- whether it's a potential recruit stopping by to check us out or just the general public."
The armory is used by recruiting, a military honors team and is home to the the 1137th Military Police Company.
The armory's outdated paneling was replaced by drywall and new doors were installed. A state-of-the-art kitchen was constructed, which is larger than the old kitchen because part of the training room was added to the kitchen area. Administration offices were renovated and ceilings were painted and new lights were installed. The whole building was also tuck-pointed.
An update to the heating and air conditioning was added, Wilkerson said. Desks, computers, the locker room and the weapons locker were all remodeled. Fencing is being added to the armory and work is also being done to the motor pool area. A small amount of asbestos has already been removed from beneath tile in the training room.
The Jackson armory renovation comes on the heels of a $1.5 million renovation of the National Guard armory in Cape Girardeau, which was completed last year. That job also provided Guardsmen with newly refurbished offices, a new kitchen as well as newly paved parking spaces and asbestos abatement.
The Jackson armory is currently authorized 60 National Guard Soldiers, but several are gone as the result of deployments.
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-800-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.
For more information about this release, please contact Scott Moyers at 573-339-6264 or at firstname.lastname@example.org