WICHITA, Kansas – An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Heartland Preparedness Center, 2808 N. New York Street, Wichita.
The Heartland Preparedness Center was designed as a joint-use facility for the Kansas National Guard and local law enforcement.
Speaking at the ceremony were Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general, and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.
“In large domestic emergencies, the Kansas National Guard often works in conjunction with local and state law enforcement agencies to protect the health and safety of the public,” said Tafanelli. “Working with local organizations, we designed this project with the goal of having a joint-use facility so we can work and train together more closely.”
The $24 million center is home to the Kansas National Guard’s 287th Sustainment Brigade, which moved into the state-of-the-art facility in September 2013.
A 62,000 square foot Field Maintenance Shop will be completed by June, consolidating two other such shops in the area to provide vehicle maintenance support for units in the region.
The ceremony featured a tour of the new facility, a static display of Kansas National Guard equipment and communication equipment, and access to the Field Maintenance Shop complex.
Military personnel were on hand to answer questions.
Heartland Preparedness Center sits on 45 acres with 118,516 square feet of usable interior space. It is the largest and most energy-efficient readiness center in the Kansas National Guard, using geo-thermal energy, daylighting, high efficiency equipment, and building management systems.
“We wanted to ensure the facility was as energy-efficient as possible, so a significant amount of discussion and evaluation was involved throughout the design and construction,” said Tafanelli.
More than 50 wells were dug to circulate water throughout the structure to heat and cool the building. Low-voltage lights are used throughout the building, along with sensors that detect movement so no lights are forgotten and left on.
The facility has numerous offices, a drill floor, cafeteria, roof access for satellites and a state-of-the-art fitness center. It hosts a medical section, a large classroom that can be divided into two with built-in projection screens and sound system, and two supply rooms with three vaults for housing weapons and other sensitive items.
The center was designed to be flexible to accommodate emerging and future missions.