Friday, October 12, 2012

Oregon National Guard dedicates new facility in Dallas, Ore.

--> Above: Dignitaries participate in a ribbon cutting to dedicate the new Col. James W. Nesmith Readiness Center in Dallas, Ore., Oct. 12. From left: Dallas Mayor Brian Dalton; Lewis Linn McArthur, great-grandson of the late Col. James W. Nesmith; Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Congressman Kurt Schrader; Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney; Polk County Commissioner Mike Ainsworth; and Larry Deibert, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.  The Nesmith Readiness Center is home to the Oregon Army National Guard's 162 Engineer Company. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department)

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The Oregon National Guard dedicated the new Col. James W.Nesmith Readiness Center during a ribbon cutting ceremony, Oct. 12, in Dallas, Ore.

The Nesmith Readiness Center is home to the Oregon Army National Guard's 162 Engineer Company.

The readiness center is named for Col. James W. Nesmith, who served in the Rogue and Yakima Wars, and represented Oregon as a United States Senator.  Nesmith also served on the Committee of Military Affairs, where he supported measures which provided for road and railroad construction and river improvements throughout Oregon.  Nesmith also opposed the payment of bounties to enlist Soldiers as well as a provision that released men from serving upon payment of a $300 commutation fee.

Known as "the father of Polk County," he pushed for legislation in 1847 to create a separate county out of what was then a very large Yamhill County.  In 1849, Nesmith purchased O'Neals Mills west of Dallas, and changed its name to Nesmith's Mills. This became the first post office site in Polk County and James Nesmith acted as postmaster from 1850 to 1852. He was elected treasurer of Polk County in 1852 and, in 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed him U.S. Marshall.

The Design-Build team of Lease Crutcher Lewis, LLC and THA Architecture were contracted in September of 2010 to design and construct a 41,263,000 square-foot facility that will house the 162 Engineer Company with 122 Soldiers.  The new readiness center, completed in September 2012, replaces the old armory built in 1911 at 18,206 square-feet which had suffered severe damage to the roof and supporting members and degraded masonry.

Significant features of the building include a full commercial grade kitchen, modern weight room, a 1,225 square-foot small-arms training simulation room, a 5,800 square-foot assembly area, 2,200 square-feet of dividable classroom space, and 2,848 square-feet of maintenance bays to support the units 75 engineer vehicles. 

This facility will serve as a community resource with flexible rental space to accommodate events such as weddings, gatherings and concerts.  According to designers, the building was designed for simple operation, low-maintenance and ease of management.

The overall design helps the facility blend into the surrounding countryside. The green design meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and is currently being considered for a Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

For another look at the readiness center, see the story from the Polk County Itemizer-Observer, here.

Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager 

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