'A really, really big project': Delaware National Guard to build a new facility near New Castle

Two aging buildings on River Road south of New Castle - one of which dates back to the Korean War era - will be replaced by a new $36 maintenance facility.

"Mud" was broken in a steady rainfall Monday morning for the new building, which is expected to be operational within two years.

"Obviously this is a really, really big project for us," DNG Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Michael Berry said. He added that once completed the new structure is expected to meet the Guard's needs for at least 50 years.

According to Fred Cost, who directs the DNG's Construction Facilities Management Office, the building will house electronics and communications shops, instrument repair, small arms test and repair, fuel and ignition repair and test, machine and carpentry shops, facilities for calibration and welding as well as body shop and painting facilities.

"Over time, equipment certainly changes in size and scope," added Marc Orndorff, DNG Design and Project Management Branch Chief. He also said two new cranes will also be part of the expansion.

Berry said it will enhance one of the Guard's most important qualities: readiness.

"As a reserve component of the Army, the National Guard, readiness is very important because of our short response time and the demands we have, to have our folks and equipment ready at a moment's notice in response to supporting the citizens of the state or the nation," Berry said.

Reporter - Anchor

Mark Fowser is a veteran journalist in Delaware.