Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center Nears Completion - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center Nears Completion

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FAIRMONT -

The Armed Forces in Marion County has spent the past couple of years moving to a bigger and better location.

The old armory is on Mary Lou Retton Drive and a brand new building was built in East Fairmont about two years ago.

"It's kind of like a birthday present. The old armory was in existence for exactly 50 years this past October and we were looking forward to having this one to replace it," said Sgt. John Oliverio, U.S. Army Reserves. "It was a nice celebration to move into the new armory."

Sgt. Oliverio said the difference between the old and new armory is like night and day.

"The drill floor is approximately three times the size of the other armory," he said. "With the added office space and storage, we are more than three times better than the old place."

The National Guard and Army Reserve share the new facility, which is one of the biggest in the state.

Some of the key features include a brand new kitchen with state of the art appliances, 60 beds for when soldiers need to stay, a gym, and even a locker room.

"More storage area for the soldiers gear. Our locker room is tremendously bigger than the other locker room. Each individual locker has twice the space," Sgt. Oliverio said.

Due to the mass amount of space, the armory can also assist the community during emergency situations.

"If all of the power goes out in Fairmont here, we have a generator that we can still fully operate here. We will open it up as a shelter, bring families in that need a place to stay, get warm, feed them," said Sgt. Mark Poling, U.S. Army Reserves.

The Armed Forces Reserve Center was named after Hershel "Woody" Williams, a West Virginia soldier who served in World War II.

A dedication ceremony was held in October 2012.

"To receive this kind of reception and this kind of an honor is far beyond what I expected," Hershel 'Woody' Williams told 12 News in 2012.

Sgt. Oliverio said the armory is about 90 percent complete. There are still a few things that need to be worked on before it can be called 'finished'.

The Marion County Board of Education purchased the old armory in December to be used for high school events and community activities.