FT. RILEY (KSNT) – As the US Army debates the future of Fort Riley – there was a small, but very significant event on the post Thursday.
The military is trying to decide whether to downsize the post in the post-Iraq and Afghanistan war era.
But those who live and work there hit a milestone Thursday – with the help of the next generation.
With the help of some little hands, and some bigger ones as well, the final chunk of steel for the roof of the new Fort Riley Elementary School was memorialized as with the wave of a little hand the girder was slowly lifted into place.
Members of the Geary County School Board, the military, architects and contractors were all on hand for this “topping off” ceremony for the school which will soon take care of the needs of as many as 500 children.
“We’re still on pace to open the school in August, 2015” says Gear County School Superintendent Dr. Corbin Witt.
As we first told you in December when teachers got a sneak peek at the designs, new classrooms will replace those of the existing 60-year old school. It will have mobile labs and wireless technology and most importantly a tornado “safe” room capable of holding all the students, faculty and staff.
With the US military considering reducing Fort Riley by as much as 60 percent, locals believe this school shows the area’s commitment to the post, and the families based here.
“We’re having new schools,” says Witt “we’ve got a new hospital, the community is 100 percent behind Ft. Riley, the Big Red 1”.
80 percent of the $22M school is being paid for by the federal government, the rest comes from the state and the Geary County School District.