ISHPEMING, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Wednesday, the Michigan Army National Guard officials along with state-elected leadership held a ceremony for the Ishpeming Armory. The Ishpeming Armory is one of 33 facilities across Michigan and only one of 6 in the UP targeted for modernization. The Ishpeming Armory construction project received $6.28 million ($3.75 million federal/$2.53 million state) for the construction and updates to the facility.
The ceremony highlighted updates that were set in place to better serve Michigan’s women soldiers. “Not only do we now have a mix of males and females but our equipment density has changed,” commented Lt. Col. Lucas Lanczy.
Michigan Senator Edward McBroom was taking part in the ceremony today and commented that many of the armories in the UP have closed down and the ones that are left need advocacy. “Women make up a very significant portion of our volunteer army in this country and our facilities need to reflect that,” continued McBroom.
The building was constructed in 1962 and at the time, the Michigan and a lot of Armory force were primarily male, and the facilities were all designed with that in mind. Now, with the investment from the state and federal government, there are more efforts to give back to women in uniform, like Sgt. Chelsea Anderson.
“Before in our previous restroom, we only had one shower and it would get extremely overcrowded in there and now we’ll have 5 individual showers,” commented Sgt. Anderson.
“The respect to the female soldiers not having enough latrains or showers you know we have lactation rooms now. The most important part for us is all about readiness it’s all about soldiers coming in, training and not having distractions of work, I can’t shower, there’s not enough bathrooms,” continued Lanczy.
Officials hope this construction promotes more modern updates not only in the UP but the rest of the state. Construction at the Ishpeming Armory is expected to be finished around November adding things like more female showers, and an elevator continuing the efforts to modernize Michigan armories.