From a distance the armory in Georgiana looks like it's in decent shape. Not until you peer inside, however, do you realize this would never pass military inspection. Water on the floor from a leaky roof, a drain pipe hanging low, a general sense that time has taken a toll.
"We had so many storms recently. They noticed the roof was sagging and we didn't want our soldiers to be in that unsafe building. We've only temporarily closed the building," said Lt. Colonel Cindy Bachus.
Georgiana Mayor Mike Middleton doesn't deny the building is unsafe but is a little miffed the guard didn't let him know about the immediate shutdown. After all the armory is a big deal in this town of more than 1,700.
"When soldiers come here and train, they eat in our restaurants and that helps the economy," said Mayor Middleton.
Built in 1962 it does more than just train the soldiers of the 781st Transportation Group.
"We also used it for elections. This is where people come and vote," said the mayor.
The mayor says the armory is not only a money-maker for the town but a good place to put storm evacuees. Hurricane season is less than two months away.
"Right now we could use the First Baptist Church but it doesn't hold as many," said Mayor Middleton.
Lt. Col. Bachus says it could be a week or so before they get estimates on repairs. For now an armory that's meant a great deal to the local folks sits vacant and lifeless, waiting for a new command.
Soldiers of the 781st are currently being trained at an armory in Fort Deposit.