Government officials and members of the Rome area community gathered to watch as the U.S. Flag was lowered at the Marine’s Armory on Shorter Avenue in Rome for the last time yesterday evening.

The closing is part of the Base Realignment and Closing program approved by Congress in 2005. The armory’s 10 active and 113 reservist Marines will be stationed at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta.

Congressman Phil Gingrey told those in attendance that the Marines had been a vital part of the Rome community since 1947 and that they would be missed.

The city will now take control of the property and convert it into a recreation center using $1.6 million from the 2006 special purpose, local option sales tax. Work on the project is expected to start in January.