|
|
|
|
The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Fort school officials break 'ground'

  • Even though rain forced them to move the ceremony indoors, Fort Leavenworth public school officials still broke "ground" Monday for a new elementary building.
    • email print
  • Even though rain forced them to move the ceremony indoors, Fort Leavenworth public school officials still broke "ground" Monday for a new elementary building.
    "What a momentous day today is," Superintendent Keith Mispagel said.
    He said the ceremony marked the start of a project that will result in a state-of-the-art elementary school.
    The school will replace the existing MacArthur Elementary School. The new MacArthur Elementary will be constructed at a different location in the area of 5th Artillery Road and Iowa Avenue on Fort Leavenworth.
    School officials had planned to have the groundbreaking at the site of the new elementary building. But it was moved to the gymnasium of the existing MacArthur building because of rain.
    A box of rubber mulch was set up in the gym for district officials and other dignitaries to scoop up with shovels.
    Retired Col. Myron J. Griswold, president of the Fort Leavenworth school board, credited Chief Financial Officer Bill Heinen with simulating conditions for the groundbreaking without the mud.
    Griswold said the vision for a new MacArthur Elementary School started several years ago. He said the board at that time recognized problems associated with maintaining the existing building including the expense as well as a changing footprint of family housing at the Army post.
    He said options included upgrading the existing building, constructing a new school at the same site or building a new school on 25 acres in the northwest corner of the fort.
    In 2010, school officials settled on building a new MacArthur Elementary school at the new site.
    Griswold said district officials hope to have the new MacArthur School open by August 2015.
    Kirby Brown, deputy to the commanding general at Fort Leavenworth, said the new school will meet the needs of the 21st century.
    "You've got the faculty," he said. "Now you will have the building."
    U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., said she's been referred to by many names. The name she's most proud of is "mama." As a mother, she always wanted her children to have a good, strong education in public schools in Kansas.
    Jenkins said the soldiers at Fort Leavenworth are asked to sacrifice a lot. She said the least that can be done for them is to give them peace of mind through the knowledge their children will be well educated and cared for.
    The new school will have 38 grade level classrooms as well as classrooms for art and science and two computer labs. The school also will have an auditorium, gymnasium and library.
    The school will encompass about 153,000 square feet. The estimated cost for the school is about $28.9 million, according to Heinen.
    Page 2 of 2 - Heinen said the new building will be a "green school."
    The school reportedly will utilize geothermal heating and cooling and LED lighting.
      • calendar