City of Huntsville to turn old armory into community center

Published on July 15, 2022

The City of Huntsville’s efforts to provide more recreational offerings at John Hunt Park will soon include a new community center focused on the senior population.

The former National Guard Armory near John Hunt Park in Huntsville has been closed since 2017. It will be renovated and converted into the Raymond W. Jones Community Center.

City Council voted Thursday to approve a Contract with Lee Builders to transform a former National Guard Armory into a Raymond W. Jones Community Center. The state had previously named the facility in honor of Jones, recognizing his service during World War II.

The $6.3 million project is largely funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) program, with the city providing the remaining funds through its capital budget.

Located near the Steve Hettinger Drive entrance on the east side of John Hunt Park, the old armory closed in 2017. The city later acquired state ownership.

The renovation project will include a new roof, HVAC system, plumbing, upgraded electrical systems, windows, LED lighting and finishes. Outside, the building will benefit from facade improvements and the parking lot will be expanded to accommodate more vehicles and ADA-accessible spaces.

The contract stipulates that work will begin within 10 calendar days of the issuance of a notice of prosecution. The contractor has 430 days to complete the project.

When completed, the center will house offices for John Hunt Park management staff and facilities supporting programs for seniors, including those with Parkinson’s disease.

“We are very excited to move forward with this project as it will be a boon to our senior population,” said James Gossett, director of Huntsville Parks & Recreation. “It is particularly appropriate that this project is announced during Parks and Recreation Monthwhich highlights the importance not only of our facilities, but also of the programs we offer to our citizens.

A rendering of the future Raymond W. Jones Community Center.  The building is white with green borders.

Jill E. Washington