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DEVENS — The design-build construction contract for an $80 million Armed Forces Reserve Center to be built on 57 acres off Barnum Road has been fully funded, according to Base Realignment and Closure Coordinator Robert Simeone.

The project was first announced by former Devens Reserve Forces Training Area Commander Col. Anthony Kanelis when he was reassigned in August 2005. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission’s recommendation was enacted into law in November that year.

Last May, Army spokesman Dave Foster confirmed from Washington D.C. that the project could include three primary buildings totaling nearly 280,000 square feet with room for storage of 789 military vehicles. Some about 642 soldiers and Marines will be working there.

The plan also includes a 1,000-person training facility.

Estimated at the time to be completed by July 2010, the initial cost estimate was set at $70.5 million. That is now closer to $80 million, Simeone said.

The center will be located on top of the footprint of the currently vacant maintenance facility across Barnum Road from Evergreen Solar. Simeone told the Reuse Advisory Board last week that he expects the superstructure of the facility to be demolished. The 15-foot-thick foundation, built to handle the weight of tanks, will remain.

MassDevelopment representative to the RAB, Ron Ostrowski, said preliminary demolition work may take place at the rear of the site this winter.

Armed Forces Reserve Centers are part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission’s solution for downsizing military facilities. Since reserve centers for the individual service branches are often empty when no training is scheduled, the government is constructing consolidated centers to house all branches.

It is similar to the realignment of Army bases into the garrison concept. That move led to the renaming of the federal portion of Devens to U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens, which is home to members of all branches of the military.

According to an article in The Lowell Sun last May, the Army initially planned to build the complex within Shirley’s town borders. But the office of the judge advocate general ruled that the Base Realignment and Closure Commission called for construction within Ayer’s borders, so the site was moved.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did an environmental assessment of the project and ruled that there will not be any significant impact to the area. Mitigation will not be necessary.

In response to concerns expressed by the town of Ayer, the federal government has promised to protect nearby municipal water supply wells.

Lowell Sun staff writer Jack Minch contributed to this article.