1. Media Center
  2. News & Updates

City of Huntsville to transform former armory into community center

Published on July 15, 2022

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

A picture of the current armory. It is brick and there is dirt all around.
The old National Guard Armory near John Hunt Park in Huntsville has been closed since 2017. It will be renovated and transformed into the Raymond W. Jones Community Center.

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

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

Located near the Steve Hettinger Drive entrance on the east side of John Hunt Park, the former armory closed in 2017. The City later acquired the property from the state.

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

The contract stipulates work will begin within 10 calendar days after a notice to proceed is issued. The contractor has 430 days to complete the project.

When finished, the center will house offices for John Hunt Park management staff and facilities supporting senior populations programming, including those with Parkinson’s disease.

“We’re very excited to move forward with this project as it will be an asset to our senior population,” said James Gossett, Director of Huntsville Parks & Recreation. “It’s especially fitting this project is being announced during Parks and Recreation Month, which highlights the importance of not only our facilities, but also the programs we offer to our citizens.”

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