The recent Daily Iowegian story about the Centerville City Council’s decision to purchase the vacant Iowa National Guard Armory generated a lot of discussion and questions.
Patrick Antonen, city administrator, Tuesday afternoon said the city saw a great opportunity when given the chance to purchase the vacant Iowa Army National Guard Armory for $1.
The Iowa Army National Guard approached the city with the proposal in mid-January of this year, he said. The proposal included selling the facility to the city for $1.
“That’s what they requested and that’s what we gave them,” Antonen said.
Antonen said the Guard initially talked to him, Mayor Jan Spurgeon and city attorney Mike Craver. Soon after the Guard approached the city, Antonen said he called each councilman to explain what the Guard wanted to do.
Antonen said they made the decision to make the purchase before determining what it would be used for because it was just too good an opportunity. The fact the building is relatively new just added to its allure.
“It’s a bad situation the Guard left but the city is going to try its best to figure out the best possible use of the facility,” Antonen said. “What should go there? What benefits the community the best.”
The city plans to hold work sessions to gather input on uses for the facility.
Antonen said many people have given him their ideas on what the Armory could be used for.
The building has been used recently, Antonen said. Both the Centerville Police Department and Centerville Fire Department have used the facility to conduct training.
“The building is going to get used,” Antonen said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Antonen said the Iowa National Guard told the city that they were leaving the city with a great building. In addition, the Guard has no stipulations on what the city can do with the property.