NISKAYUNA The new state-of-the-art Army Reserve Center under construction in Niskayuna is now about half complete, with move-in expected for December and completion by spring, the project engineer said last week.
Work began on the $18.5 million training facility last November. All three buildings are now up, with workers now finishing the exteriors and roof, later moving to the interiors, project engineer Anthony Jara said.
Once complete, the new center is to have room for 400 members. The site is to consist of a training building, a maintenance shop and an unheated storage building. Two water tanks are also now up.
The center is to have a training building, a vehicle maintenance shop, a library, a learning center, a weapons simulator and a fitness area for 12 reserve units from the Capital Region, officials have said.
It is to replace the existing facility on site, as well as one in Albany.
After the buildings are complete and the old facilities moved, then the second phase will begin, Jara said. That will consist of demolishing the old structures on site and competing the parking lot and other site work. That is expected to be complete by the spring.
Construction, Jara said, has been moving on schedule, with the effort meeting challenges faced by other construction in the area, the weather and land.
Jara noted the shale rock under the site has posed challenges.
“In some areas it’s soft and easy to break through. In some areas it’s really hard to break through,” Jara said, noting that other projects in the area face similar problems.
There was also the rain early in the summer that caused problems with concrete placement, he said.
Through the life of the project more than 200 construction workers will be used all together, Jara said.
Jara said he expects that in October preparations will be made to have the site occupied, including having walk-throughs of the site with staff and local emergency responders.
$18.5 million contract
The project was approved in early 2012, with federal officials awarding the $18.5 million contract to the Seneca Nation-based firm SCMC.
The reserve center project is one of several going on simultaneously on Hillside Avenue. A new traffic light was recently installed at the corner of Hillside and Providence avenues.
The town is also in the process of replacing the water main along the road and putting down a new road surface on part.
Town Supervisor Joe Landry noted the work along Hillside will complement the work at the reserve center.
“We’re glad it’s progressing and we’ll be very happy when it’s completed,” Landry said of the center.