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New Richmond Armory upgrade approved by state

The armory in New Richmond is one of 15 National Guard facilities that will be upgraded as a result of last week's approval by the State of Wisconsin Building Commission.

The commission voted to spend nearly $6 million on armories in Abbotsford, Antigo, Beloit, Clintonville, Fond du Lac, Fort Atkinson, Janesville, Merrill, Neillsville, New Richmond, Tomah, Watertown, Waupaca, Kenosha and Sussex.

"Over the past few years, we have been improving and upgrading the restroom facilities at a number of our armories throughout the state," said LTC Daniel Pulvermacher, deputy C&FMO for the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs.

In New Richmond, the project calls for the installation of handicapped-accessible toilets to meet the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Shower facilities will also be installed. According to the official project request from the Department of Military Affairs, the showers are needed so that full- and part-time soldiers can clean up after completing physical training at the armory.

The soldiers are required to pass physical tests annually, and they often use the armory facilities during the week and on the weekends to prepare for that test, according to the project request.

"These projects will create new, updated restrooms and showers at a variety of armories statewide," said Stephanie Marquis, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Administration. "The original design did not include adequate shower facilities for women, and the new plans call for updating the facilities for both our male and female guardsmen."

According to preliminary estimates, the total cost of the New Richmond project will be $264,929. Half the cost will be covered by federal funds while the remaining cost will be picked up by the state.

According to Marquis, all of the recently approved projects will be completed between May of 2013 and December of 2014.