After nearly 80 years, the Maryland Army National Guard is marching out of downtown Towson.
The C company 1st battalion, 175th infantry division is moving its base from the Towson Armory on Washington Avenue to the guard armory in Glen Burnie. The move should be completed by May, said spokesman Lt. Col. Charles Kohler.
The 175th infantry division was deployed last March to the Sinai peninsula.
A recruiting battalion will continue to use the building until the employees can be relocated, then the building will be submitted to the state office of general services as surplus space. It could then be transferred to another state or county agency, or sold if it is not needed. That process could take "several years," Kohler said.
The Towson armory opened in 1933.
The cost-cutting move is the only such relocation happening in the National Guard system right now, Kohler said, though several closures have taken place in recent years. The Ruhl Armory in northern Towson is not affected.
Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, works nearby and knew about an impending move but said she was surprised when a National Guard employee visted Friday to say they were starting to move some equipment.
"It's absolutely horrible because they were an important part of our community. They would come over and visit in our office all the time," Hafford said. "When they were being deployed we would bring in volunteers and cook breakfasts for their families. They're part of our group. They're a part of Towson."