Frederick takes possession of former Guard armory
FREDERICK The City of Frederick received ownership of the former Frederick Readiness Center (National Guard Armory) during a ceremony Thursday morning at the facility. The city plans to use it for future economic development efforts including a possible business prospect.
The facility, located at 1801 E. Gladstone next to the Great Plains Technology Center, was transferred to the city from the Oklahoma Military Department. The city had originally donated the land to the department for construction of the former armory, which was built in 1997.
"Today is an exciting day in the City of Frederick," said mayor Eddie Whitworth. "It's always good for us to reflect on the past. But, it will be a great future opportunity for Frederick and Southwest Oklahoma for economic development."
Whitworth said the facility will see a new life, purpose and direction in the near future. He expressed his appreciation to various officials for their support including U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma; state Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton; and local Economic Development Committee members.
"There are plans in store for the facility in the next few months," he said.
Robert Johnston, Frederick city manager, said the facility may be used by a small manufacturing firm the city is negotiating with to bring operations to Frederick.
"We'll further evaluate the facility to determine what work will be needed for this project," he said. "This is about new job creation."
Lt. Col. Cory Newcomb, plans and programming branch chief and directorate of engineering for the Oklahoma Air and Army National Guard, said the plan was in place more than 20 years ago for the city to receive back the property and facility from the National Guard after its use as an armory and readiness center had run its course.
"We're giving the building back to the community," he said. "Thanks for letting us be a part of your community."