In the News

Sen. Moran applauds $24.4 million grant for new elementary school on Fort Riley

Junction City Post 

Geary USD 475 announced this week that a federal grant had been approved to pay 80% of the cost of a new elementary school. That grant from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation totaled $24.4 million and USD will pay the remaining 20% share of the cost for the 81,000 square foot facility. The district held its 20% share since initiating the grant process in Feb. of 2019.

On Tuesday Sen. Jerry Moran discussed the effort by his Office to support this project. "It's a great development. We've had a long history of trying to build additional schools and upgrade the schools on post, in assisting the Junction City school district, but really to be helpful to Soldiers and their families. "

Moran noted that they have advocated that the application by Geary USD 475 should be granted but nothing had been heard from the Department of Defense for almost one year. "We kept pushing and were pleased to learn that a grant for $24.4 million dollars has been approved."

The new school will replace the current Jefferson Elementary School which was built on Custer Hill at Fort Riley in 1959, with additions in 1965 and 1990.  The new facility will accommodate 390 students in grades pre-kindergarten to fifth grade.

Moran said this grant is also a significant development as officials continue to advocate for Fort Riley for additional expansion for ultimately another brigade ( of Soldiers ). "How do we make certain that the Army knows that good things are happening at Fort Riley and that is the place for further investment. " Moran added much of that has to do with infrastructure. "The more dollars that we spend at Fort Riley for schools, hospitals and housing the better the future is, the safer the future is at Fort Riley and the opportunities for expansion increase."

The school will be built on an 18-acre site. The total project, including design and construction, is estimated to take 23 months. Demolition of  the existing school could start as early as Aug. 2021 with earthwork on the new facility beginning in  the late fall or early winter of 2021.