On Nov. 9, 1960, John F. Kennedy gave his first speech as U.S. president-elect from the Hyannis Armory, originally built in 1958 and deeded to the town in 2016.

Directly across from Barnstable Town Hall, the now-vacant, 20,000-sq.-ft. armory has deteriorated well beyond its useful life.

However, “we are now at a point where we are ready to bid the renovations of that facility,” Town Manager Mark Ells reported to the Town Council Thursday. “We envision a consolidation to a downtown campus here.”

The estimated $5.6 million renovation would require an evaluation of all systems in the building, hazmat remediation and design, which Ells said may be a joint public/private effort. He envisions leasing portions of the building “with the goal of having a modern Health Division Office there,” complete with meeting rooms, bathrooms and community space for programming. Upgrading the building’s HVAC, fire protection systems, IT and AV services likely would run another $2 million, Ells said.

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