The Geary County district maintains buildings on the northeast Kansas Army post. The grant announced Monday is for a 500-student school that will relieve overcrowding and improve facility conditions.
Fort Riley was placed on a priority list for new school funding in 2011, in part because of the increased number of soldiers and families assigned to the post since 2006.
Geary USD 475 Superintendent of Schools Ron Walker said it’s a relief to know their work ” “has finally paid off. ” He also added, “Basically we’re in a position now to have our architects finish up. And I’m anticipating a construction start date sometime in late March, early April.”
The new Fort Riley Elementary School will be built in the Camp Forsyth area of the post, just a few blocks from another new elementary school that was recently built, Seitz Elementary School.
Walker also confirmed that in addition to the federal funding, the State of Kansas has provided money to help with the local match for the project. “When we started working on the application for Fort Riley Elementary School we actually approached our legislative leaders and our Governor, and made a request from them to assist us with the match.” Walker added, “Over a period of two years the State will put in approximately $3 million, which means our local match would be about $800,000, and we’re going to basically take that from ( federal ) impact aid.” That means no local taxpayer funds would have to used to build the new school.
The new school will replace the current Fort Riley Elementary School, which was built in the 1950’s. That school is located in the Main Post area of the installation.