SIOUX CITY | Attending Thursday's rededication of the Iowa National Guard's Sioux City Readiness Center was more than an official duty for City Councilman Pete Groetkin. It was also a trip back in time.
The event was to celebrate completion of a yearlong, $1.75 million renovation of the facility where, decades ago, Groetkin was stationed.
The building houses the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry; Co. D, 334th Brigade Support Battalion; Det. 1, 2168th Transportation Company; and Field Maintenance Shop No. 3.
“It’s a special time for me because I was a member of the 2nd Mech over 40 years ago and was here for six years,” Groetken said. “And a lot of great friendships came from that as well as a lot of training that turned out to help me as I grew through adulthood.”
The Sioux City Readiness Center was built in 1970 at a cost of $316,000.
Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Officer Col. Greg Hapgood said the facility, at 3200 2nd Mech Drive, south of Sioux Gateway Airport, is used primarily for training, storage and administrative purposes.
The renovations provide new office space, upgrades to the mechanical, electrical and communication systems, construction of an access road and a 4,700-square-foot addition.
The larger, more modern facility will allow troops to perform their duties with greater ease. Hapgood said that before the renovations, the facility was “cramped.”
Duties will remain the same, he said.
“I think we’ll be able to do what we’ve always had to do, but with a better ability and with greater storage than we’ve had in the past,” he said.
Groetken smiled as he looked over the changes. A room now outfitted with double-wide lockers brought back memories of the same space at a time when Groetken was left without a place to store his uniform -- which was then stolen. He called the renovations “tremendous.”
Councilwoman Rhonda Capron also toured the newly updated Readiness Center, but it was her first visit to the facility. She said she was impressed.
“It’s a great addition to the community,” she said. “We support the military, and it means a lot to be involved in something like this.”