The same paper on April 30, 1896 printed a story that announced “A NEW ARMORY IN SIGHT.” The story goes on to say the members of Company E and the band look forward to their own “Utopian dreams of quarters in an armory of their own nearer to some sort of a possible realization.” Helping to fuel the dream was the Iowa Legislature when they passed an appropriation for the Iowa National Guard doubling the per annum for rent from the state from $100 to $200.
On Sept. 30, 1897, the Centerville Daily Citizen reported a contract to construct a new armory and opera house was let and awarded to a Colfax firm. The story says the winning bid was “in the neighborhood of $7,000.” The site would be Drake Avenue and Maple Street.
On Feb. 4, 1898, the Centerville Daily Citizen reported the doors to the new armory/opera house were to be thrown open Tuesday, Feb. 22 for a “grand military reception.” The public was invited to tour the new facility and Iowa Gov. Shaw and Iowa National Guard officers were expected to attend.
On April 26, 1898, the Centerville Daily Citizen reported the boys of Company E and the band were boarding a train for Des Moines to train for the Spanish-American War.
By 1905, it was reported the armory/opera house was no longer large enough for Company E and the band and a cry was made for an independent facility.
On Jan. 31, 1905, the Centerville Daily Citizen reported the company needed a new armory “where they will not be handicapped for room and where the movements can be properly executed.” The same story states the armory/opera house was scheduled to be overhauled in 1905 leaving the boys with “no building in which to drill.”
The discussion about an independent armory continued on into 1906.
On April 7, 1906, the Centerville Daily Citizen reported discussions centered on a combined armory and convention hall. Possible sites for the new building included East Van Buren Street and a second floor atop the Day Building on the southwest corner of the Square.