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City OKs $1.5M to help Goodfellow AFB become regional training site

Goodfellow AFB pipeline dormitories.

JOHN BARTON/U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

By RASHDA KHAN | The San Angelo Standard-Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: November 7, 2017

Goodfellow Air Force Base — poised to become a regional training site for a mandatory class for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies — could soon see an additional 14,000 students a year.

The class — related to security and cyber threat — is only offered in Virginia thus far, but there are plans for regional training sites, said Mike Boyd, interim San Angelo Chamber of Commerce president.

Goodfellow will be the first regional site.

"I'm sure there will be other sites, but we jumped on it," said Boyd, who was recently in Washington, D.C., to meet with elected and military officials. "We've been verbally approved."

To accommodate the influx of new students, about 24,000 square feet in two existing base facilities will have to be renovated, creating additional classrooms, space for instructors and a psychologist, as well as adding 150 seats to the dining facility.

Batches of more than 100 students each will come in throughout the year for the week-long class.

The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $8.8 million.

The San Angelo City Council on Tuesday authorized its economic development arm — the City of San Angelo Development Corp. — to award $1.5 million of the City's half-cent sales tax funds toward the project.

"We all know how vital Goodfellow Air Force Base is to San Angelo, and how vital it is to the world in light of everything going on today," said Councilman Lane Carter, serving as mayor pro tem Tuesday.

However, the City's financial support is contingent upon Tom Green County receiving a Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant.

More: Goodfellow seeks funding for new $8.8 million project

This is the second time COSADC has joined with Goodfellow, the county and the chamber to apply for a Texas Governor's Grant.

In 2016, the City and COSADC committed $760,000 and the county received a $2 million grant to help expand Goodfellow's intelligence training program for foreign military personnel.

"This will be an economic boost for Goodfellow and the community," Boyd said.

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©2017 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)
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