CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories
GUARD GIVES JOYNER BUILDING TO TUPELO
By Philip Moulden
Mississippi National Guard officials Friday turned over to Tupelo a building that has been used for the past 40 years to keep Guard vehicles in the region in tip-top running order.
The key to the building located off Joyner Avenue north of Joyner Elementary School was handed to Mayor Jack Marshall at City Hall by Sgt. Maj. Clyde Godfrey, with the Organization Maintenance Shop No. 2 in Tupelo, and Staff Sgt. Glenn Easley, from the Mississippi National Guard Adjutant General’s Office in Jackson.
“We’re transferring it back to the city for city use,” Godfrey said. He said the transfer includes about 7 acres of land.
The city will use the 4,600-square-foot building to house its Parks and Recreation Department fields and grounds equipment.
The Guard recently constructed a new 11,000-square-foot vehicle maintenance facility on 5.3 city-owned acres on South Veterans Boulevard.
Under the National Guard program, local governments furnish property for Guard facilities and the Guard funds the building costs. When the facilities are no longer needed, they and the property are returned to the local government.
“We plan to make it a consolidated park and recreations operations base for all grounds and athletic field personnel and equipment,” Marshall noted earlier. “That will allow us to free up the facility at Ballard Park … for building maintenance equipment and personnel.”
The city also plans to put a greenhouse on the Joyner Avenue property to enhance citywide landscaping capabilities.
The brick building, which cost about $40,000 to construct, was funded under a federal appropriation in 1954. It was opened in December 1955 and originally serviced about 130 tracked and wheeled vehicles from 21 North Mississippi Guard units.
Although the number of units in the region has dropped to 15, the number of vehicles that it services has more than doubled, to about 300.
A dozen full-time technicians work at the center plus a number of weekend Guard personnel, Godfrey said.