WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense – today announced that the recently enacted FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes language to stabilize the Department of Defense (DoD) 2011 Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List. This language allows DoD to continue replacing schools while completing a follow-up audit previously required by law.
“I am pleased to announce authorization has been secured for USD 475 to plan for and apply for grants to construct a new elementary school at Fort Riley,” said Sen. Moran. “It is has always been my priority in Congress to make certain that we are not only supporting our servicemembers, but that we are also supporting their children and families. A new elementary school at Fort Riley will prevent overcrowding and provide our servicemembers’ children access to modern and high-quality educational resources and facilities they deserve.”
“Throughout my time in Congress, and especially since the 1st Infantry Division’s return to Fort Riley in 2005, I am proud to have worked closely with DoD to invest in resources to grow and support Fort Riley’s critical infrastructure, including new middle and elementary schools and the state-of-the-art Irwin Army Hospital,” Sen. Moran continued. “I remain committed to furthering these existing, proven partnerships so Fort Riley can remain the best place to live, train, deploy from, come home to and retire.”
Items to Note:
- The newly-enacted NDAA language expands the number of infrastructure projects eligible to apply for a DoD Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant by five.
- The expansion includes the replacement of Jefferson Elementary School in USD 475 located on Fort Riley. This project was included in the 2011 Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List issued by the Secretary of Defense. This same priority list allowed for the replacement of Fort Riley Middle School through a grant awarded in 2012 and Fort Riley Elementary School through a grant awarded in 2014.
- The FY2017 NDAA required DoD to conduct an additional audit of public schools on installation requirements. The results of the audit are expected to be released this year and will dictate the order of priority regarding the remaining projects on the Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List.
- The OEA is awaiting confirmation of FY2019 NDAA funding guidance before soliciting a grant application from USD 475. If approved, the OEA will make an 80 percent matching grant available for the purposes of constructing a new grade school on Fort Riley at an estimated cost of $25 million. USD 475 reports it is holding $5 million in matching funds for this purpose. USD 475 also intends to propose closing two Fort Riley schools on the DoD priority list which would be replaced with one school capable of absorbing total enrollment of the two smaller schools.
- Since 2006, over $1.8 billion dollars in military construction on base has given way to new facilities that are flexible and scalable to meet the needs of our national defense. This includes the new, state-of-the-art $343 million Irwin Army Hospital that provides healthcare and support to active-duty personnel and their families.
# # #