TROUTVILLE, Va. – The Virginia National Guard marked a milestone in Troutville Thursday, with a groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion they’ve been waiting years for.
Construction is already happening at the Roanoke Regional Readiness Center Complex.
When it’s complete in about two years, the facility will provide more storage, training and maintenance capabilities for the National Guard.
Major General Tim Williams, who oversees the state’s National Guard, said over a decade ago the Guard moved out of the region. Since then, they’ve wanted to come back.
“Really since 1992 we’ve been looking to get to this point,” Williams said.
The property was closed by Roanoke for redevelopment, and budgets kept the Guard from coming back.
In 2015, they were able to acquire the old prison in Troutville to move into and now they’re able to build onto it.
“Gets us back to our roots of having a National Guard presence in the Roanoke Valley,” Williams said. “Something that we’ve had really as long as we can remember, and particularly since World War I.”
Hundreds will work out of the base, many of those coming in for training, others already living nearby and commuting, as well as some new.
Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe said the expansion will be a great benefit to the community.
“I am looking forward to sleeping better at night knowing that natural disasters can end up being handled locally rather than chasing folks around the country,” Larrowe said. “Seriously this is a blessing, this is an asset.”
Sergeant Zach Federico currently works on the base and is looking forward to having more company soon.
“We’re really excited about the expansion,” Federico said. “It’s great to have more soldiers in the facility, and we’re just grateful for our chain of command and our elected representatives that supported us in this.”