Virginia National Guard secures real estate to establish readiness center in Roanoke area

Shawn Mason, Support Services Manager for the Western Region for the Department of Corrections, hands over the keys to the former Botetourt Correctional Center to Lt. Col. Charlton Dunn, Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer, June 16, 2015, in Troutville, Va, (Contributed photo)

Shawn Mason, Support Services Manager for the Western Region for the Department of Corrections, hands over the keys to the former Botetourt Correctional Center to Lt. Col. Charlton Dunn, Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer, June 16, 2015, in Troutville, Va, (Contributed photo)

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard has secured the site of the former Botetourt Correctional Center to establish a readiness center in the Roanoke area.

The Virginia National Guard accepted the property and recorded the deed June 15, 2015, according to Lt. Col. Charlton T. Dunn, Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer.

Aerial view of the former Botetourt Correctional Center which will be converted to a Virginia National Guard readiness center.

Aerial view of the former Botetourt Correctional Center which will be converted to a Virginia National Guard readiness center.

“We are very excited to take this next step in bringing a Virginia National Guard readiness center back to the Roanoke area,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “We could not have made this happen without the assistance of the City of Roanoke, the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Division of Real Estate Services and other local and state officials, and we look forward to growing our partnership with the Roanoke community in the future. This continues to be a great team effort.”

The total site area is approximately 56.5 acres in Troutville, located at State Drive and Route 651, east of I-81 and north of Roanoke. It is adjacent to a Virginia State Police shooting range and a Virginia Department of Transportation regional maintenance facility.

The Guard will be able to use the existing facilities of the former correctional center to accommodate administrative, logistical and operational activities with minor alterations and additions and has the funds to begin initial phase of the work, Dunn said.

A final decision has not been made as to which units will move into the facility, he said. He also indicated that a final timeline for moving units and Soldiers into the new readiness center has not been established but could be as early as October 2016.

The Botetourt Correctional Center closed in the winter of 2010 and was declared surplus state property. It was transferred to the Virginia National Guard at no cost, Dunn said.

“I am pleased to see the great cooperation between multiple state agencies that made it possible for us to bring the Virginia National Guard back to the Roanoke area,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “This is a great use of state surplus property and a wonderful opportunity for the Guard to strengthen its ties with the Roanoke community.”

The Virginia National Guard vacated the armory in Roanoke in 2009 to make way for new development at the site of the facility that was dedicated in 1955.

“We are committed to the process of trying to establish a Virginia National Guard facility in the Roanoke area, but it is important to remember that we are still able to rapidly respond to assist the citizens of the region if we are needed,” Williams said earlier this year. “We have facilities in Lynchburg, Christiansburg, Pulaski, Rocky Mount and Lexington where we could stage personnel to provide support in the event of severe weather or other emergency response situation.”