- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Leaders of the Davenport school district have approved a property trade that provides the Iowa National Guard with the necessary land for a planned $24 million readiness center.

In exchange for the Guard taking possession of about 37 acres in Davenport, the school district will take ownership of two Guard-owned properties, the Quad-City Times (http://bit.ly/1KQml7s ) reported.

The school district’s operations manager, Mike Maloney, said one of the properties could serve as a bus barn, while the other has the potential to become an operations center. The properties have an office building, a mixed-use armory, two vehicle shops and two warehouses.

The School Board unanimously approved the swap on Monday. The vote comes in anticipation of the 2017 release of federal money promised to build the planned Readiness Center, which would have 93,000 square feet compared to a current 15,000-square-foot facility.

Col. Scott Ayres, director of installation management for the Guard, called the board’s vote “huge” for the project. He told the board that the Guard has been trying for years to get a new Davenport training center into the federal budget.

“This is our worst facility,” he said of the current building. “This is hard to admit, but it’s the worst in the nation.”

He said the 37 acres will allow for growth of the new facility and for plenty of green space. Fencing will surround portions of the facility.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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