JUNCTION CITY, Kan. – The USD 475 Board of Education decided unanimously to name the new $37.4 million school on Fort Riley ‘Morris Hill Elementary’. The decision was made to honor the history of Morris Hill on Fort Riley and to preserve the Blue Ribbon Award recognition accorded to the current Morris Hill Elementary in November 2022.
“The building and naming of a new school is always exciting.” Said the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Reginald Eggleston. “This new facility will allow us to continue supporting our students and families. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the great accomplishments our teachers and students will achieve in this facility.”
The new 81,000 sq. ft. school facility can accommodate 390 students with room to grow to 98,900 sq. ft. and service 570, pending the approval of a $10 million expansion. The school site was chosen to sit between contiguous post housing areas formerly served by two schools, with the goal of improving upon operating costs and administrative efficiency. The project, which broke ground in March 2022, is on schedule to be ready for classes August 2023.
Asked about the notable features of this build, Construction Project Manager, David Wild said, “When completed, it is believed that this project will provide Fort Riley with the newest inventory of schools in the Army. An impressive milestone for the partnership between Fort Riley, USD475, and the Office of Local Defense Communities Cooperative.”
According to Fort Riley records, Morris Hill is named after Major Louis T. Morris, who was stationed at Fort Riley around 1894. During a Cavalry and Light Artillery tactical exercise, it is reported that Major Morris and his squadron were successful in holding a hill commonly referred to afterward as Morris Hill. The colloquial reference stuck, and by 1904 it began to appear on military maps and those used by pioneers crossing over Mormon Road to Utah, which passed near today’s Post Headquarters.
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Geary County Schools, USD 475