The start of construction for a new National Guard Armory is still uncertain nearly four years after the facility was approved.
Heavy equipment has been moved on site and anticipation is building, but County Executive Jimmy Haley says there is currently no confirmed date for work to begin. Construction was previously scheduled to start in late 2020, but that date was delayed.
The 23.3-acre property for a new armory was purchased by the county in June 2011 and is located on Manchester Highway adjacent to Reddick Brown Ford and Security Federal. A new armory has reportedly been high on the list of federal projects for about 10 years.
In 2012, the current armory in McMinnville was listed as the second
oldest armory in Tennessee. The oldest at the time was the armory in Rockwood. Warren County got approval for a new armory in 2018.
According to construction plans, the new armory will be a 35,000-square-foot facility. This will allow soldiers to have more than three times their current space.
When the new armory is complete, the old armory will be deeded back to the county. This will open many possibilities.
Haley says there has been much discussion surrounding what may happen to current armory once it becomes available. Ideas for the property include a workhouse for the jail, a justice center, a maintenance shed for county storage, and an addition to the Health Department.
There is currently not a set plan for what to do with the armory once a new one is constructed. The equipment on site has fueled speculation construction may begin soon, but Haley says he has not been informed of a start date.