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Defense Department grant will help new grade school construction at Fort Sill

Sen. Jim Inhofe announces $37 million grant a year after he required the Pentagon to compile a list of the Defense Department schools most in need of repair
by Chris Casteel Published: September 18, 2012

— The U.S. Defense Department is providing $37 million that will be combined with $8 million from Lawton Public Schools to build a new elementary school at Fort Sill, Sen. Jim Inhofe said Monday.

The new school will replace two old schools, Geronimo Road and Sheridan Road elementary schools, on the U.S. Army post. Because of their condition, the schools were among the Pentagon's top priorities; they will be torn down and replaced with the 1,400-student Freedom Elementary School.

“Over 86,000 children attend Department of Defense Education Activity schools across the United States, Europe and the Pacific region,” Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said in a news release.

“Unfortunately, many of these schools are in urgent need of repair. That is why I have worked hard with the Defense Department to put an improvement plan in place. ... These funds will be put to good use in improving the learning environment for the children at Fort Sill.”

Inhofe last year authored an amendment to the defense bill requiring a Defense Department priority list for repairs and replacements. Sheridan Road Elementary School was third on the list, and Geronimo was 12th.

A top Army official toured the schools with Inhofe in May, 2011, and promised to help rebuild them. The post has expanded since the Air Defense Artillery School was relocated there after the 2005 base realignment and closure process.

The Fort Sill schools are currently part of the Lawton public school system, which will own, operate and maintain the new school, Inhofe's office said. Environmental requirements must be met before construction can begin.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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These funds will be put to good

use in improving the learning environment for the children at

Fort Sill.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe


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