• Fort Riley officials cut a ribbon July 2 signifying the opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center on Custer Hill. Pictured from left to right are Mick McCallister, RCI-Housing Manager; Fort Riley Command Sgt. Maj. Miguel Rivera; Rhonda Bartlett, Ellis Heights resident; Andrea Clark, wife of Garrison Commander Col. William Clark; DES Sgt. Maj. Ancel Bartlett, Ellis Heights resident; Garrison Commander Col. William Clark; Scott Kotwas, director of construction, Picerne Military Housing; and Shawn Cheever, project manager, Picerne Military Housing.

    Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center opens at Fort Riley

    Fort Riley officials cut a ribbon July 2 signifying the opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center on Custer Hill. Pictured from left to right are Mick McCallister, RCI-Housing Manager; Fort Riley Command Sgt. Maj. Miguel Rivera; Rhonda Bartlett...

  • Families enjoy an Olympic-sized pool July 2 during the grand opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center. The center is the fourth to open at Fort Riley, Kan.

    Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center opens at Fort Riley

    Families enjoy an Olympic-sized pool July 2 during the grand opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center. The center is the fourth to open at Fort Riley, Kan.

  • Families enjoy an old-fashioned Family picnic July 2 during the grand opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center at Fort Riley, Kan. The center provides several amenities, including a club room, a media area and an Olympic-sized pool.

    Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center opens at Fort Riley

    Families enjoy an old-fashioned Family picnic July 2 during the grand opening of the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center at Fort Riley, Kan. The center provides several amenities, including a club room, a media area and an Olympic-sized pool.

FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center officially opened for Fort Riley residents with a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 2 near Custer Hill.

The ceremony was followed by a complimentary, old-fashioned, Family picnic.

The center is intended to provide opportunities for Soldiers and Families to build resiliency and well-being.

"I think it's great for the community. I mean, we just moved here, so it's a great thing, especially for my son (Jayden)," said Joylyn Hanna, military spouse, originally from Torrance, Calif.

Amenities at the center include a club room, computer room, media area, fitness area and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The neighborhood center is the fourth to open at Fort Riley, and like the others, the Ellis Heights Neighborhood Center has a particular theme, said Brian Beauregard, program director, Picerne Military Housing.

"Each one of the other facilities highlights historic themes at Fort Riley, and this one is no different," he said. "The focus here was the life at (Fort) Riley, and so there are photographs and pictures depicting what Families did for recreation back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. So that's the theme for this neighborhood center."

A time capsule was created to connect with future generations and was filled with mementos like cell phones, electronic devices and other items depicting life at Fort Riley today. The capsule will be opened on the 50th anniversary of the center.

"Hopefully, we'll all still be around, and (this) will, hopefully, connect the future generation with Families of today," Beauregard said.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Families and children lined up to play in the new pool.

"We're going to go enjoy the pool. (The kids) are very excited about this. They were waiting the whole week," said Nneka Lewis, military spouse, originally from Detroit.

Page last updated Fri July 13th, 2012 at 00:00