Updated: 6/3/2015 5:27 P.M.
It's a centennial celebration. Over a hundred years of service, the armory in Marietta begins renovations to the ground level.
The armory square is a well known community attraction and it's getting a make-over from the inside. Today, Armory Square Incorporated announced a $100,000 donation towards the renovations of the ground level.
This will mark phase three of this project and the big donation announced today is made possible through local private donors, individuals and foundations.
The renovations are expected to be completed by the end of September. So far some structural work has been completed, including exterior windows, doors, floors and bricks.
Officials say this project has been a work in progress for many years and the supporters are finally able to see their hard work put into action.
"We've been working 20-something years to get this far but it's picking up steam. As people see that we're actually making headway, we get larger and larger grants. That's why the different corporations and foundations, such as the Sisters of Saint Joseph's, People's Bank Foundation, have come on board now. They see that there's forward progress," says Harley Noland, Marietta city councilman.
The ground level will have ADA compliance council chambers, WASCO, veterans affairs and a public bus station.
Updated: 4/29/2015 7:30 P.M.
A big step forward for the long-vacant Marietta armory.
Marietta City Council unanimously approves financing for renovation of the nearly one-century old structure.
What council has approved is the selling of bonds totalling up to $500,000 for the renovation project that's expected to take place this summer.
The city plans to move the city council chambers to the armory's ground floor.
That floor will also be the location of a bus stop, handicapped-access restrooms, a day center for the WASCO workshop, and a downtown office for the veterans affairs agency.
Before council approved the bonding, it was briefed on its financial obligations.
"By passing this, you are pledging the income tax," Law Director Paul Bertram III told council. "If there is a default, this bond will be pledging our income tax to the bond holder for repayment and redemption at the time it would ultimately happen if there was a default."
Councilman Harley Noland says there are other commitments expected for the space, once the renovations are completed.
That's hoped for by the time of the armory's centennial this fall.
Council also approved first reading of legislation authorizing a contract with a Zanesville, Ohio construction firm for the renovation of the project.
Those contracts are expected to be signed by the end of May.
There's a new addition to the Veterans Walk of Honor.
The Veterans Services organization donated five benches- each one symbolizing a branch of the U.S. military services.
The Armory in Marietta has long been a tribute to those who have served the country.
"On the 4th of July weekend, it celebrates the beginning of the United States, which our veterans,
many of them have settled here in Marietta, and are buried up at Mt. Cemetery. We thought it was fitting that this is the time that we'd dedicate
these five benches to the five branches of service," said Harley Noland, City Councilman in charge of Parks and Buildings.
The Armory is actually where the military once departed from for foreign wars.
Following the dedication, guests were treated to a picnic lunch- giving the Armory a chance to showcase its new picnic benches as well.
Work on the Armory was actually completed in 1915, so organizers say they hope all of their renovations plans will be complete
in time for the Armory's 100th birthday in 2015.