Army breaks ground for Tonganoxie center
Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward said “it’s been a long time coming.”
But on a frigid December morning with a biting wind, military personnel, local government officials and business leaders gathered Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Army Reserve Center south of Tonganoxie.
The $12.5 million center, which will be constructed just south of Tonganoxie on U.S. Highway 24-40, will cover nearly 30,000 square feet with an additional 1,600 square-foot storage facility on 19.5 acres of land.
U.S. Army Col. Kurt F. Wagner, Directorate of Public Works director for the 88th
Regional Support Command, said the location was selected because it was close to Kansas City, a major recruiting area. But it also was far enough away that the rural setting allows for plenty of room to maneuver large military equipment.
The ARC is slated for completion in January 2019.
Once finished, it’s expected to employ a mix of 12 full-time military and civilian employees.
It’s also expected to bring in 250 military personnel for training two weekends out of the month.
The facility will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certifiable upon completion.
Excel Constuctors of Belton, Mo., which also built the ARC in Belton, Mo., will construct Tonganoxie’s ARC.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brent Legreid, deputy district commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, was on hand, along with representatives of Excel Constructors, Ward and City Council Member Andy Gilner and Acting City Manager Jamie Shockley.
With Fort Leavenworth in the northern part of the county, Tonganoxie now will have a military presence in the southern portion of the county.
“There’s a long tradition of the military in Leavenworth County,” Ward said. “We’re proud to be part of that tradition.”
The ARC is one of many projects happening in Tonganoxie. Optometrists Richard Dean and Katie Volk have moved from the downtown area to the northwest corner of Fourth and U.S. Highway 24-40, but a slew of other new businesses are popping up as well, or in the process of being constructed:
• Unilock, a landscape paver company, will be moving into the Tonganoxie Business Park. That company will be at Leavenworth County Road 1 and 222nd Street just south of Kansas Avenue.
• Brunswick Ballroom, an event space for weddings and other celebrations, has opened in the former Bichelmeyer’s Steakhouse at Fourth and Bury streets.
• Magdalenas Venue and Salon, 304 E. Fourth St., is in the former Good Shepherd building.
• Kathy’s Kottage, a craft boutique at 120 Hatchell Road, offers craft classes and merchandise. Retired teacher Kathy Link runs it.
• The Beauty Bar, 414 E. Fourth St., a new salon and spa.
• Blush Salon and Spa and Melissa Rieke Photography, will be opening in the former Lenahan Hardware in the 500 block of Fourth Street.