Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armory to reopen after facelift

Vehicles and weapons will be on display in Hailey this weekend


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo The refurbished Hailey Armory will be on display to the public this weekend.

The newly refurbished Idaho National Guard Armory at 311 Cedar St. in Hailey will be a center of action for Memorial Day events this weekend.

Military weapons and vehicles, including a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, will be on display at the facility. Civilians will have an opportunity to fire computerized virtual weapons simulators, and the 25th Army Band will rock the armory on Saturday night.

"The timing for completion is perfect," said Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano. "Memorial Day is a great time to hold this grand reopening."

Over the past 18 months, the 9,000-square-foot armory (aka Readiness Center) has undergone a $1.26 million remodel. It has been upgraded with a new roof, wiring, windows and modern anti-terrorism specifications.

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Marsano said 27 communities in Idaho have armories and almost all of them have been upgraded in the past few years. They're used for military training, community events and town hall meetings in some smaller communities.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, May 28, with Hailey Mayor Rick Davis and Idaho Army National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart. The event will include speakers and a "remember ceremony" for prisoners of war and those missing in action from all conflicts.

Refreshments will be provided.

The event will also include the unveiling of a 10-by-30-foot historical mural depicting soldiers from the Revolutionary War through the present time. The mural was painted by Ketchum artist Ralph Harris, with help from community volunteers.

The armory will hold an open house all weekend, culminating with a talk by "Candy Bomber" Col. Gail Halvorsen on Monday, following Memorial Day ceremonies at the Hailey Cemetery.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com

Hailey Armory events

Saturday, May 28:

- Noon, ribbon-cutting ceremony.

- 1-7 p.m., open house with military vehicle and equipment displays, a weapons simulator, a rock climbing wall and a bouncy house for youth.

- 7 -10 p.m., the Idaho National Guard's 25th Army Band rock combo will provide entertainment for dancing.

Sunday, May 29:

- 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., open house continues at the armory.

Monday, May 30:

- 11 a.m. to noon, annual Memorial Day ceremony at Hailey Cemetery.

- 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., retired Col. Gail Halvorsen, the "Candy Bomber" of the Berlin airlift in 1948-1949, will speak at the armory.




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