NASHVILLE — Tennessee's Military Department has a green light to go ahead with an estimated $5.4 million renovation of Chattanooga's historic National Guard Armory on Holtzclaw Avenue.
State Building Commission members approved the project earlier this month, telling officials to move forward with selecting a project designer and work including completing mechanical, lighting, plumbing, architectural renovations, exterior repairs and upgrades to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Funding comes half and half from state and federal dollars.
The armory at 1801 Holtzclaw Ave., referred to as a "readiness center" by the National Guard these days, was originally among 11 buildings constructed by the federal Works Progress Administration, according to a state summary. It opened in 1941 and remains in use as a recruiting station.
Officials plan to use a "best value" contract to find a contractor with the necessary expertise in stone-masonry, historic preservation and ability to work in a secure facility.
The Tennessee Historical Commission wants to review design drawings before construction to ensure work will be done in accordance with requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The project was among dozens totaling well over $100 million approved in whole or in part by the State Building Commission during its mid-July meeting.
Other major Southeast Tennessee projects approved include:
* $8.4 million to replace mechanical and electrical equipment systems at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Fine Arts Building, which opened in 1975. The approval includes selecting a designer for the project.
* $5.63 million for UTC's massive West Campus utility connections project. Work includes completing the mechanical distribution system with tie-ins to the existing distribution loop and connects to the Lawson Center, Davenport Hall and the Metropolitan Building.
* $1.37 million to renovate the Harrison Bay State Park marina fuel pier. The project will address the floating pier system, fuel dispenser controls, marina electrical and water services, restroom, pump station and other related work.
* $2.6 million for infrastructure improvements at Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute. Work includes replacement of water and sewer lines, repairs and/or replacements of sidewalks, paving and ADA compliance.
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